Rafael Nadal announces end to 2021 season through injury
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Rafael Nadal has barely played since losing at Roland Garros earlier this year. The Spaniard returned for just one event, playing two matches before he later announced he was ending his season early due to an ongoing foot injury. His prolonged absence from the tour has left many speculating on whether he will be able to make a full recovery and return to competing, but a former Spanish tennis player has now weighed in on a potential retirement for Nadal.
Nadal lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the French Open semi-finals in June, a huge upset considering the Spaniard is a 13-time champion at the tournament and had only lost two matches in his career at the event.
He later pulled out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, revealing he had aggravated an ongoing left foot injury, and was forced to skip events after being unable to play tennis for 20 days.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion’s comeback was short-lived, as he returned to action at the ATP 500 in Washington, winning one tight three-set battle before losing another, and later flew home despite making the trip to Canada with plans to compete in the Toronto Masters.
Ahead of the US Open, the world No.6 took to Instagram to announce he would be shutting down his season to give his foot the chance to heal properly.
JUST IN: Murray names adjustment made since Wimbledon that can revive career
“Honestly, I’ve been suffering a lot more than I should with my foot for a year and I need to take some time,” he said, announcing his season was ending early.
“After having discussed it with the team and family, this decision has been made and I think it is the way forward to try to recover and recover well.”
The former world No.1 has since given an update after undergoing a medical procedure on his foot, admitting that the recovery process was “painful”.
Speaking at an event screening a review of the new Prime Video documentary on his Rafa Nadal Academy in his home country of Mallorca, he said: “The clock is ticking, every year it’s getting tougher but I am still excited and I will keep fighting to achieve great things again.”
Christmas axed for Australian Open qualifiers controversial schedule
Murray records biggest victory in 13 months as comeback gains momentum
Federer breaks silence on Djokovic’s failed Calendar Grand Slam bid
On his injury, the 35-year-old continued: “I have some pain in my foot. It’s been a complicated time for me on a personal and professional level. The recovery process will be tough and painful at times.”
While Nadal’s injury woes have had fans concerned, with some wondering whether his body will give up on him and force him to retire, former top 25 player and 1992 Barcelona Olympic silver medallist Jordi Arrese has given his verdict on an upcoming retirement for his fellow Spaniard, and has positive expectations.
“If Rafa recovers, he still has two or three very good years left because he has too good a level and is a mental predator,” he said, according to AS.
Arrese also weighed in on the greatest-of-all-time debate after Novak Djokovic failed to pull ahead of his long-time rivals Federer and Nadal in the Grand Slam race at the recent US Open.
Follow our new Daily Express Sport Instagram page here
The Serb was one win away from achieving the Calendar Grand Slam and winning a record 21st Major title but fell at the final hurdle, as Daniil Medvedev beat him 6-4 6-4 6-4 to win his first major title.
According to the retired Spanish player, the member of the Big Three who wins the most Grand Slam titles will be regarded as the GOAT.
He added: “Each one may like more or less one, but the one that takes the most Grand Slams is the one they will say is the best.
“That fight is between the three of them and although it seems that winning another Grand Slam is close, it is not so easy.”
Source: Read Full Article