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Rafael Nadal to resume training in early December after recovering from ankle surgery

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 28 Nov 2018
  • Nadal set to resume training next week
  • World No. 2 hasn't played since the U.S. Open and underwent ankle surgery earlier in November
Rafael Nadal (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal is set to resume training next week after undergoing minor surgery on his ankle earlier in November.

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Nadal, who hasn’t played since retiring in the U.S. Open semi-finals, underwent a 35-minute surgical procedure to repair his injured ankle after withdrawing from his final two tournaments of the season at the Paris Masters and Nitto ATP Finals.

According to his uncle Toni, the 17-time major champion will be able to begin his off-season training next week.

"Rafael took the decision to correct a problem he was having in training and the federation doctor recommended he do so," Toni told Spanish newspaper El Diario Vasco. "When I spoke to him his intention was to start training again around 4th or 5th December, and he will have more than a month to arrive in good conditions for the Australian Open."

Nadal struggled on hardcourts in 2018, withdrawing or retiring from 11 of the 12 tournaments he played on the surface. The only hardcourt event he played all the way through was at the Canada Masters in Toronto, which he won.

Rafael Nadal (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
However, despite barely featuring on hardcourts, Nadal managed to remain at World No. 1 for the majority of 2018, only relinquishing the top spot in the last week of the regular season at the Rolex Paris Masters to a resurgent Novak Djokovic. The 32-year-old extended his historic run of success at the French Open earlier this season by claiming a record 11th title at the tournament, while he also picked up more clay-court silverware in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Rome.

Nadal is set for a fairly busy December despite his recent injury problems, with the Spaniard planning to appear in the Olazabal & Nadal charity golf event later next month, while he begins his new season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi shortly after Christmas. He was scheduled to play a controversial exhibition with Djokovic in Saudi Arabia, but that match has since been cancelled.

Nadal’s first official ATP event of 2019 will be at the Brisbane International, while he will also compete in a Fast4 exhibition event in Sydney one week before the Australian Open.

Toni also spoke of the younger generation coming through the ranks, saying that Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer will find it harder to win big titles in 2019.

“The young people have taken an important step this year,” he said. “Karen Khachanov was able to prevail over Djokovic in the final of the Paris Masters, Alexander Zverev has also imposed himself on Nole in London, Shapovalov is the youngest but can move forward ... There is a very strong group with Coric or Thiem who are about to make the final leap. Rafael, Djokovic, Federer and company know that they will have to play with these young people.”


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Rafael Nadal to resume training in early December after recovering from ankle surgery

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal is set to resume training next week after undergoing minor surgery on his ankle earlier in November.

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