Rafael Nadal’s ultra-fit body could carry him for a few more productive seasons according to an analysis from the Spaniard’s longtime doctor.
Dr. Angel Ruiz Cortorro, physician for the national federation who has taken personal charge of the health of the 34-year-old player for years, gave his rosy outlook for the future to Spain’s EFE.
The world No. 2 is fresh from his record 13th Roland Garros trophy this month, pulling him level alongside Roger Federer at the top of the Grand Slam singles title list with 20 apiece.
Nadal will play next week at the Paris Bercy Masters before heading to London for another edition of the eight-man year-end Finals.
Despite decades of knee problems – kept well under control – Nadal is viewed as fighting fit by Coterro.
“As long as he has a passion for this sport and is able to compete as he did in this last Grand Slam against (Novak) Djokovic, with that passion and preparation, he will continue to play tennis, because it is his life,” the doctor said.
“How many years can he play ?, Well maybe two, three .. In the 2016 Olympic Games it was said, ‘let’s see if he can get to Tokyo.’
“(Now) we are in 2020, he’s just won his 13th Roland Garros, playing perhaps one of the best matches of his life.
“As long as the body supports him, he is excited and works every day as he is doing, because every time he plays better tennis – we really have Rafa left for a few years.”
But Coterro warned: “It depends on many situations, if the injuries respect him, but physically he is now very well.”
The doctor credited Nadal’s intense training regime and the family and coaches around him for his superlative career.
And he also lauded Nadal for managing during the current COVID-19 period which has upended much of world sport.
“The pandemic totally influences training; it is a new situation for everyone, and the athlete, and especially the elite athlete, needs to have references and know what their goals are and where the moments are.
“Not only Rafa, but everyone has had a situation of not knowing where he was and it is very difficult for everyone to program, when they say that in March they will confine us…
“This period has been hard for everyone, (but Rafa) has already said that sport is secondary to everything that society is experiencing.
“At a personal level they have been very difficult months for him, for all athletes, for all the people who practice sports.”
Rafa, explains his doctor, has had his team behind him, his representative Carlos Costa, his coach Carlos Moyá, his physical trainer Joan Forcades, his physio Rafa Maymó, all of them.