Rafael Nadal says he knows more than anyone else what it’s like to be injured and miss big tournaments.
While the Spaniard has suffered many injury problems throughout his career, for once he seems to be one of the few big names not struggling with any serious complaints.
Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori have all been ruled out for the remainder of the season, while Roger Federer, Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic are all struggling with injuries at the moment too.
Nadal knows how they feel, having missed six Grand Slam events in the last 13 years as a result of injury.
While the Spaniard was diplomatic when asked about the injuries to so many top players, it was clear he wasn’t all that sympathetic.
“I have been in that position more than all these players that are out now,” Nadal said. “I know how tough it is. I’m very sorry for all of them and I wish all of them a fast and good recovery.
“But at the same time I tell you Roger didn’t have a lot of these things during his career. Novak the same. Andy the same. Stan, I don’t think he had a lot of issues.
“I’m the only one of these top players that missed a lot of important tournaments in my career. More than anybody else, I know how tough it is.
“But the only thing that you can do when these kind of things happen is accept and keep going.”
Nadal also rejected suggestions that the season was too long and was putting too much physical strain on the players.
“The season didn’t change for the last 20 years, so we cannot think about that now,” he said. Is something that happens because we’re not 20 years old anymore. We’re over 30, most of us, so it’s something that can happen.”
Nadal will soon retake the World No 1 ranking for the first time since July 2014, as Andy Murray continues to be sidelined by injury, and he admits it is a special moment to be back at the summit after so many years.
“I worked a lot to give me another chance and here I am,” Nadal said. “Just to be back to that position makes me happy and of course is going to be an emotional moment for me.”
Asked about both he and Federer turning back the clock this year with Grand Slam victories, Nadal said it was special, but perhaps not all that surprising, considering the two players in question.
“It’s something that probably is special because a lot of people thought that we will not be able to be back to where we are now,” Nadal said. “But we’ve been in that position for a lot of years. Is special, yes, but is nothing new.”