Novak Djokovic's million-dollar message to Nadal as Rafa begins rehabilitation after missing French Open 2023

Jun 05, 2023 04:32 PM IST

As Nadal begins his rehabilitation to eye a return to tennis in 2024, which could be his final year, Novak Djokovic sent a classy message for the 37-year-old.

Two weeks after announcing his shock withdrawal from the 2023 French Open tournament, Rafael Nadal underwent a surgery to check his left psoas muscle which troubled and has sidelined him from action since January this year. As the Spaniard now begins his rehabilitation to eye a return to tennis in 2024, which could possibly be his final year, Novak Djokovic sent a classy message for the 37-year-old.

Rafael Nadal; Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal; Novak Djokovic

It was during his Australian Open second-round match in January when Nadal incurred the hip injury which sidelined him for six weeks. While a return to claycourt season was expected, Nadal prolonged his recovery period before revealing that no medical effort has helped him improve on the condition which has forced him to withdraw from the French Open. Last week, Nadal underwent Nadal had an an arthroscopic procedure on his hip and later informed his fans that it would take him about five months to recover.

“It was his birthday yesterday, and he announced that he got his surgery,” Djokovic said after reaching the 2023 French Open quarter-final. “I got one surgery in my career on the elbow, and I know how hard it is to get back. It's just one of those things that you don't want any athlete to go through.”

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Referring to his 2018 elbow surgery, the Serb added: “Sometimes I guess it's necessary. For him it's been several times now throughout his career. I don't know what the severity of or the nature of his injury is, but, you know, if he got on a surgery table, it means there was no other solution.”

The world no.3 was full of praise for Nadal as he wished him luck and hoped to see him ending his career on his own terms.

“So, you know, I really hope that, yeah, his rehabilitation process can go well and that we can see him next season,” he said. “I think that he's so important for our game on and off the court, one of the greatest legends of tennis in the history of the game. We want to see healthy Rafa, no question about it, playing for what he has announced his last season. You know, hopefully he's gonna be able to do that.”

Nadal had earlier mentioned that he eyes a Davis Cup return in late November. But the update shared by the 22-time Grand Slam winner post his surgery reveals that the 2023 season is all but over.


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