‘If you don’t make everyone around you feel free to say things…’: Nadal on importance of communication within a team

Rafael Nadal’s last outing at Wimbledon resulted in a walkover after reaching the semifinal.

The Spaniard’s progress was hampered by an abdominal injury that he suffered in the quarterfinal against Taylor Fritz. However, he was able to finish the game and win in an extraordinary fashion in five sets. The following day, Nadal underwent scans, which revealed an abdominal tear.

After consulting with his team and doctors, Nadal realized that going forward in the semis would further aggravate the injury.

In a recent interaction with Eurosport, the 22-time Grand Slam winner reiterated the importance of staying grounded and how unlike team sports where coaches take most of the decisions, one has to take charge of one’s own self in a game like tennis.

“In team sports, you have a coach who is appointed by the club. It hires a trainer and the player is also paid. But the coach is the boss. In our sport, I am the one who pays the trainer, the physical trainer, and the physiotherapist. In the end, you are the boss,” he said.

“If you don’t make everyone around you feel free to say things, good or bad, without risking their jobs, then you’re not helping yourself. I don’t think everyone who works with me felt that danger. I’ve pretty much had the same team since I started and they all feel confident telling me the things they believe in,” he said.

While Nadal did not win the 2022 edition of Wimbledon, it has still been a successful year for him with victories at the Australian Open and French Open. If he manages to recover from his injury, then there is a chance that he will be aiming to lift his third Grand Slam title of the season at the US Open.

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