Tennis News: Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray

  • Nadal might be playing even if he doesn't want to
  • Murray makes some frustrating challenges

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Rafael Nadal has hinted that 2024 might be the last year he plays professional tennis. If that is the case, he has gotten off to a relatively slow start to his final season because of a new injury to the same hip that he hurt in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open. According to Nadal's uncle, Toni, Nadal might be playing the first Masters 1000 of the year next week whether he wants to or not.

Of course, before Nadal plays Indian Wells, he will be participating in the Netflix Slam against Carlos Alcaraz. That is scheduled to occur on Sunday, March. That is just three days before Indian Wells is set to begin on March 6. But there is a massive difference between playing an exhibition match such as the Netflix Slam and high-stress competitive action. Nadal, for instance, will likely not be put into situations where he could re-injure his hip but he might be at Indian Wells.

Toni Nadal coached Rafael from the time Rafael was very young until 2017. The pair were together during 16 of Rafael's 22 Grand Slam wins. Toni clearly knows Rafael the tennis player well and should have a good idea of what he needs to do.

Rafael Nadal might be forced to play

According to a recent interview Toni did with AS, Nadal needs to play at Indian Wells because he needs to learn how to compete again. The Spanish great has only played one tournament since the hip injury in January of 2023 and he was forced to withdraw from the Brisbane International after a few matches because of a new hip injury.

Toni said, "I know it’s difficult, but I always try to be positive and I hope that my nephew can play a great role both in the (Olympic) Games and at Roland Garros...It’s that (Rafael) needs to compete. He has no choice. He hasn’t done it for too long. And of course, if you don’t compete, you can’t be prepared."

Andy Murray is forced to go above and beyond

In stranger news, Andy Murray opened the Dubai Tennis Championships with a win this week against Denis Shapovalov but what happened in the first game of the second set is what people might remember. Murray was serving and during the game, he had to ask for a review of three different points. Murray won each review. The last of which the ball was clearly out and should not have been missed by the line judge. Maybe the umpire crew just really hated Andy Murray for some reason.

To make things even odder, the chair umpire was the same one involved in the Coco Gauff fiasco from the previous week where the umpire made a wrong call and then refused Gauff's request for a supervisor. Maybe chair umpire Pierre Bacchi simply needs to take a vacation. A long, long vacation.

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