Nadal making changes to avoid another injury-plagued year, reveals Moya

Rafael Nadal only featured in nine tournaments in 2019, so Carlos Moya wants to help him find the key to longevity in 2019.

Rafael Nadal (L) and his coach Carlos Moya (R)   -  Getty Images

Rafael Nadal will change his training regimen in a bid to avoid a repeat of his injury-plagued 2018, according to his coach Carlos Moya.

The world number two was hampered by a hip injury during the start of the year, pulling out of an Australian Open semifinal against Marin Cilic before returning for the clay-court season and winning an 11th French Open.

Nadal triumphed at the Rogers Cup in August but was forced to withdraw from a US Open semifinal against Juan Martin del Potro due to a knee complaint.

An abdominal injury forced the Spaniard to sit out the Paris Masters, and he opted to skip the ATP Finals in order to undergo ankle surgery in November.

Moya insists Nadal cannot pare back his schedule any further so believes a change in preparation is needed for the sake of the 32-year-old's longevity.

"When he was on the court it was a spectacular year. He won five out of nine tournaments. He lost two matches, plus two defeats due to retirement in the Australian Open against Cilic and in the US Open against Del Potro," Moya told the ATP Tour's official website.

"But in terms of injuries it has been a bad year. That forces us to look for solutions. You have to change things. Training systems, for example, or the frequency of those workouts. We have to find the key so that this year will not happen again.

"Everyone in the team thinks the same. At this point in his career it will not change anything to train one hour more per day. On the contrary, it will be more harmful than beneficial. We are very aware of that.

"It is something that will happen more often with age. In fact, 99 per cent of players retire because of injuries and what they entail, like losing confidence and desire, spending more time with the doctor than on the court or falling a lot of places in the rankings. I've been through that and know what it's like.

"We are looking at the time Rafa spends training and managing his calendar in detail.

"In good health, Rafa should play 14 or 15 tournaments, no more. Compressing his schedule further seems impossible to me."

Keeping up with time

Nadal will return to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship this week and Moya believes he is on the right path ahead of the first major of 2019.

"In principle it was a simple operation, but we did not want to force more than was necessary," he added.

"The recovery has been on the right track. Little by little, progressing without going crazy and always being optimistic to be ready for Australia."