Rafael Nadal Should Only Participate in Grand Slam Tournaments in 2013

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIJanuary 14, 2013

SITGES, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 26:  Rafael Nadal attends a press conference for 'Champions Drink Responsibly' by Bacardi on November 26, 2012 in Sitges, Spain.  (Photo by Robert Marquardt/Getty Images)
Robert Marquardt/Getty Images

The 2013 Australian Open will still be played, but it just won't be the same without Rafael Nadal

As one of the members of the Big Three, which also include Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, Nadal is always one of the best and most exciting players to watch.

But we may not see much of him this year.

Nadal has been plagued by injuries for months, dating back to when he missed the US Open in August (per SportsonEarth.com) and was forced to pull out of the World Tour in October (per Associated Press, via Huffington Post).

We haven't seen the true Rafa in almost a year, and it's come to the point where he must sit out until the next Grand Slam.

Nadal is an experienced player with a lot of talent, but much of that talent has been wasted during his injuries. He hasn't been playing like himself when he manages to get out on the court because he still isn't at 100 percent. 

This must end now.

Nadal has played long enough to know his limits. However, he still pushes them. Instead, Rafa should be resting until it's time for him to walk out onto the biggest stage once more.

Playing in events that aren't Grand Slams is pointless for him. He's already built his legacy, and we know that he can play incredibly well when at full strength.

By being patient and waiting for his body to fully heal, he will be ready for the biggest events of the year and come out like the champion he is.

Everyone wants a healthy Nadal back. Even his opponents do, including fellow Spaniard David Ferrer (per TheAustralian.com).

"The good news is he doesn't have pain in the knees, so that's the most important," he said.

I spoke with him few days ago. He was sick with a virus, and he preferred to stop (practising). And he will come back in South America (Acapulco in February).

I have confidence that when he comes back he will play good.

Maybe not in his first tournaments because they are often tough, but I am sure he is coming back to number two or number one in the world.

Ferrer is not alone, as some of the game's brightest stars have also spoke out on the matter (h/t SportsonEarth.com).

"And so, said [Roger] Federer, 'That's why there's such a shock to it now that Rafa pulled out.'

"Well, it is strange because he hasn't missed a Slam for a long time," [Novak] Djokovic said.

"The energy he brings to the match court is incredible, so tennis will definitely, definitely miss him while he's not playing," Andy Murray said.

We all want a healthy Rafa.

We all want to see Nadal in Grand Slams.

So why not just limit him to the fabled events?