Rafael Nadal's permanent injury threatens his start in Paris

Updated on 05/13/2022 at 11:56 AM

  • Rafael Nadal’s foot problems caused the best clay court player to hit his knees in Rome.
  • In agonizing pain, the world number one tennis player is desperately defending Canada’s Denis Shapovalov for three sets.
  • Then he made a statement to Nadal that leaves all tennis fans depressed.

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Rafael Nadal is clearly marked. At the end of the round of 16 match against Canadian Denis Shapovalov, the Spanish tennis legend only stumbled across the central court in Rome. In between it looked like Nadal had to give up, the pain in his foot was so bad.

Burying his head in his hands, the 35-year-old sat in his chair Thursday night after the 6:1, 5:7 and 2:6 defeats. Nadal, who won the Masters 1000 at Foro Italico, looked like a heap of misery that had already won ten times. . And about a week before the French Open kicks off, the question inevitably arises: How fit is a record Grand Slam champion for his favorite tournament?

Rafael Nadal is unable to defeat Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the third round after winning the first set due to a permanent foot injury on May 12, 2022 in Rome. Shapovalov beats the ten-time winner in Rome in three sets.

© AFP / Andreas Solaro

Rafael Nadal explains: ‘I live with an injury’

“I’m not injured, I’m a player who lives injured,” Nadal said while sitting in the press conference minutes after his retirement from playing. The Spaniard has long had foot problems, which bothers him with the so-called Muller-Weiss syndrome. “Sometimes I don’t feel anything, sometimes the pain is crazy, like today,” Nadal said.

Due to the injury, the world number one player has had to miss almost the entire second part of the season since last year’s French Open. His comeback at the start of the year was even more impressive when he won his 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open – more than anyone else.

The address is supposed to follow at No. 22 in Paris from May 22nd. In Roland Garros, his tennis lounge. But is this realistic looking at the pictures from Rome? “I can’t comment on that,” Nadal said. “Unfortunately, my day-to-day situation is very complicated, and that’s something that’s hard for me to accept at times,” he said.

Rafael Nadal, Rome, Italy, Spain, third round, Denis Shapovalov, Canada, 2022, ATP
Having been knocked out in the third round in Rome on May 12, 2022, Rafael Nadal has to admit that he does not know if he will be able to participate in the French Open in Paris, which no one has won more than him, from May 22, 2022.

© AFP / Andreas Solaro

Rafael Nadal puzzles over how to move forward

What’s Next? A question that Nadal could not answer after the bitter end in Rome. “What will it be in the next few days? I don’t know. What will happen in a week? I can’t really say,” Nadal replied in frustration.

Usually, the tennis weeks in April and May are Nadal’s celebration days. Monte Carlo, Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Rome – Nadal has won consecutive titles in these tournaments in the past. This time he went to the French Open without winning the championship on clay. With a lot of question marks. But this does not have to be a bad omen. Nadal also had a complicated season on clay in 2020 – and then triumphed at Roland Garros. (dpa/how)

Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrated a historic success in the early hours of Monday morning (local time) at the Australian Open. The tennis star won his 21st Grand Slam title in the final against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. © ProSiebenSat.1

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