Rafael Nadal's doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro has urged the Spaniard to consider his overall health before taking part in multiple tournaments as his body is not ready for the wear and tear as it was when he was 20. Nadal retired in the fifth set of his quarter-final match against Marin Cilic because of an injury, ending his hopes of a 17th Grand Slam title.
Scans conducted after the incident have since shown that the world number one has suffered a hip injury and will be ruled out for up to three weeks. However, Nadal is confident that the setback won't affect his calendar and is expected to play the Mexican Open, which starts on 26 February, before the first part of the American hard court season in Indian Wells and Miami.
Nadal suffered a knee injury at the end of 2017, which saw him pull out of the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour Finals. The setback delayed his return to competitive action before the start of the year and the Spaniard will go into the Australian Open having not played a single competitive game thus far.
The lack of preparation obviously had an affect on his health and Cotorro believes that his client must exercise caution in choosing his games to ensure the injury does not recur in another Grand Slam.
"Obviously the competition is very demanding, as the years pass you have to take certain measures," Cotorro told Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, as quoted by the Express. "The physical condition that Rafa had with 20 years is different from the one he has with 32, after a life dedicated to high competition.
"This is logical in professional sports, as happens to Nadal happens to other players. It is true that the circuit is very demanding and now, with the bill that the sport is passing to Rafa, it is about regulating the competition."
Meanwhile, the 31-year-old launched a scathing attack on the surfaces used in the Australian Open, which he believes are too firm and may lead to a long standing injury. He backed his comments by alluding to the fact that there have been more injuries at the Australian Open than in any other Grand Slam.
"No, no, there is no reason [why I have suffered more injuries at the Australian Open than anywhere else]. But [it] happened. That's it," Nadal said.
"[It] is not the right moment to say for me. Somebody who is running the tour should think [a] little bit about what's going on. Too many people [are] getting injured. I don't know if they have to think a little bit about the health of the players.
"Not for now that we are playing, but there is life after tennis. I don't know if we keep playing [on these] very, very hard surfaces what's going to happen in the future with our lives."