Rafael Nadal had a vintage 2017. A tour of force for most of the year, but the recurring knee problems came back to haunt him at the end of the season.
The World number 1 had to retire from World Tour Finals, after playing only one match. He fought hard, but had to admit defeat in front of a spirited and reinvented David Goffin, playing mostly in one leg.
The Spaniard confirmed his involvement in the Abu Dhabi’s exhibition tournament, just to retire in the last moment. The doubts about his fitness started to grow when he retired from Brisbane as well, admitting that he is not yet at his fullest capacity.
Nadal confirmed though that he will participate in the inaugural TheBreak Tens exhibition tournament, organised by ATP. The event will be held in Melbourne from 10 till 15 of January.
Can Nadal keep up with the high expectations? Given his health issues, it’s pretty much in doubt.
He had an amazing 2017, winning a record 10th Rolland Garros and US Open, to return to the top of the men’s Tennis. It’s hard to reproduce a year like that even if he would be healthy, but like this would be even a bigger challenge.