In the face of Angel Ruiz Cotorrodoctor of Rafael Nadal, there are no signs of concern. On Sunday morning, the doctor sits on the bench of the main training track of the Masters Cup from London to see how the world number one faces a decisive test in his decision to play the tournament or return home: serve normally for the first time since he suffered a right abdominal distension warming up for the semifinals of Paris-Bercy.
And Nadal, who in the previous four days has been very careful, without forcing a little, takes out the badge by sending all the precautions and shows that he is prepared to assault the only great title that resists him when he debuts this Monday before Alexander Zverev (5-0 in the face to face) in the last match of the day.
"The idea was to come and play, unless he fell back," he said Carlos Moya, one of the player's coaches. "We were confident of deadlines that have all been met, and in principle it will be fine. The progression we were looking for was this," insisted the former world number one. "We wanted to try to do a training as if it were a game to enter the track on Monday with the confidence that he was able to get well. And we have succeeded," he continued. "Today it has come close to its 100% with the service."
Nadal played a set with Roberto Bautista, which won 7-6. The Mallorcan faced each service turn without fear of forcing during the movement mechanics to put the ball into play, and finished the session without pain or discomfort in the area that had forced him to retire last Saturday of the last 1000 Masters of the year.
No pain for the ATP finals
It was the last step of a ladder that began to climb when at the beginning of last week the tests ruled out an abdominal break, the worst possible scenario, and began a treatment with local anti-inflammatory measures, deep thermotherapy with the machine Indiba, and a manual job he did with Rafael Maymò, your physiotherapist, to culminate in a progressive retraining of the service.
Thus, Nadal trained on Wednesday in London without taking out once and on Thursday (with Thiago Tirante), Friday (with Matteo Berrettini) and Saturday (with Dominic Thiem) was increasing the loads in his gesture of service without reaching the maximum (approximately 80% on Saturday) while he worried about not neglecting the rest of his game, preventing the problem with the serve from being spread to the rest of his argument.
"It is that not being able to take out affects your whole game a bit mentally, but if you take out as today nothing will happen," Moya said. "Before Bautista it was a very important test. He has managed to get normal and has no abdominal discomfort," said the Balearic.
"The more times you can do that, the earlier you will forget about the injury. At first you go with fear, being very careful to protect that area, but if you take out as today everything will be fine," the technician repeated, "if we had not taken out yesterday or today maybe yes, but we have followed an established plan, supervised by Cotorro and by Maymò"he said." We have relied heavily on them when making the decision. "
That decision is to dare, go for everyone, play for the great title that has always resisted him (finalist in 2010 and 2013) and try to protect the world number one to finish the season at the top of the classification by Fifth time in his career. These two objectives, at the outset, have become expensive: Novak Djokovic, his top rival for the cup and the top, started the tournament by running over 6-2 and 6-1 to the Italian Berrettini.