After playing just two tournaments since his return from a rib stress fracture, Rafael Nadal injured his foot again on Thursday during his round-16 loss against Dennis Shapovalov. The 21-time Grand Slam winner had a much better start against the Canadian tennis player as he clinched the first set by 6-1. Shapovalov came strongest and fought hard to secure the second set by 7-5. However, Nadal seemed to be clearly struggling with his foot and could not move swiftly. The 23-year-old took advantage of the chance and closed the match by stealing the third set 6-2. Last year, Dennis failed to convert two match points which cost him the match against Nadal at the same stage in Rome.
Nadal has had a tough run since his return, six weeks after he sustained a rib stress fracture in a match at the Indian Wells. Rafael returned last week at the Madrid Open, where he was defeated in three sets by Carlos Alcaraz. The 19-year-old went on to beat Djokovic in the semi and lift the Madrid Open title. After winning his first match at the Italian Open against John Isner, Rafael Nadal moved to the round of 16 with an opportunity to reach his 100th quarter-finals at the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments. However, the Spaniard failed to compete during the final set against Dennis Shapovalov as he found himself struggling with pain again.
Nadal Talks About His Injury After Round 16 Loss
The 35-year-old revealed the details of his foot injury during the post-match press conference. Rafa shared that he injured his foot again and was in a lot of pain. Further, Rafael Nadal claimed that he is a player who has lived with an injury, and it is nothing new for him.
The ATP world no. 4 mentioned how unfortunate and difficult for him to go through an injury every day and accept the situation. Rafa’s chronic foot injury surfaced in the middle of the second set. The Spaniard told that it was unplayable for him at that moment. Moreover, Nadal clarified that he did not want to take anything away from Dennis’ win and said that the Canadian did well.
Nadal Hopes To Fight Until The End At The Roland Garros
The 13-time French Open winner was devastated to get eliminated from another Masters tournament due to a long-time injury. Nadal admitted that his foot has been troubling since he returned from his rib injury. Moreover, the 36-time Masters 1000 champ shared that it is tough for him to practice on two consecutive days. This has restricted him from moving well to compete at the highest level.
The Spaniard was disappointed that his foot injury came up during a day he was feeling much better from the start. Rafa revealed that his practice went well than the other day, and he started the match playing much better.
Rafael Nadal’s foot injury has come to haunt him at a very critical time. The Roland Garros is scheduled to start on May 22. The Spaniard would not want to let Djokovic have an opportunity of equalizing his record for most Grand Slams. Nadal was asked if his foot would allow him to put up a competitive fight at the French Open. The King of Clay responded that he had no idea how his foot would progress in a couple of days or one week. Rafa believes that it is time for him to accept the situation and fight. Nadal revealed that he has goals for a couple of days and a week. And he will “keep dreaming about the goal.”
Nadal’s first goal is to avoid inflicting pain while practicing. The Spaniard also plans on having his doctor in Paris during the French Open. Rafa feels that having a doctor will help him to do something about the pain if it comes up again. Rafael Nadal believes a player needs to stay and value all the positive things, during good and bad days alike. It seems like Nadal is not ready to give up. He will keep fighting to get better and make a strong run at the French Open.