SportsNadal and a year to forget

Nadal and a year to forget

For a long time, there has been no intervention in which Rafael Nadal has not touched wood and makes mention of his physique, the same one that has transported him towards infinity and that also, in the opposite direction, has led him down the path of bitterness. Rocket and stocks at the same time, his body stops him again and the great historical career for being the greatest tennis player of all time loses shine and poses an unbalanced scenario: Federer fell, injured in the knee, and now he takes a step to a side him, caught by the left foot. Consequently, Novak Djokovic is left alone in the dance and will be the only one who attends the US Open in New York, where for the first time, if he conquers his 21st major, he could lead the three-cushion pulse that he, the Spanish and the Spaniard maintain. Swiss for almost two decades.

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If a week ago it was Federer who raised the white flag and stepped aside when he just turned 40, this Friday Nadal did. The 35-year-old Mallorcan released a video through his social networks in which he confirmed what was suspected and suspected after his recent visit to Washington, where he competed limping and announced that things were not going well. In other words, the pain in his left foot, the same one that put his career in check when he was 18 years old, does not subside and threatens him again; Therefore, the Balearic Islands, who think long-term and avoid all risks in order to extend the route, have no choice but to put the brakes on and end a season that looked better than good, but which quickly went wrong and that ends abruptly and hostilely. Again, injuries.

“Honestly, I’ve been suffering more than I should have for a year and I need to take some time. I think it is the way to recover, and to recover well “, introduced the one from Manacor, who two weeks ago returned to the track after almost two months without competing, 55 days after having lost against Djokovic (34) in the semifinals of Roland Garros. “It is not a new injury, I have had it since 2005, but I have been a season in which things are not going as they should,” he added in the statement, in which he explained that he is looking for a type of treatment “a little different” to solve a problem [síndrome de Müller-Weiss] that he has always been there, that he comes and goes according to the times and that since the last clay court tour he has been issuing warnings. For this reason, after passing through Paris, he and his team chose to stop.

The decision automatically ruled him out for Wimbledon – where Djokovic equaled the 20 greats that he and Federer own – and also for the Games; Something that did not surprise, because since he was over thirty Nadal has been learning to interpret his body and is more conservative, projecting himself in the long term and not towards immediate returns. Hence, he brakes again and has convinced himself that now, the most opportune and the least harmful thing is to “understand” what has been the evolution of his foot and act thinking about “continuing to have options in the coming years”. New York, then, loses another figure on the poster, in which Djokovic will shine alone. It remains to be seen, in any case, if the number one has managed to overcome the mental blow that left Tokyo empty and if he is able to overcome the growing resistance of the Medvedev, Zverev or Tsitsipas, as well as his own ghosts.

The reverse of Paris and off the podium

Meanwhile, Nadal tries to mitigate the blow on his sailboat, surrounded by his family and advised by Dr. Ángel Ruiz-Cotorro. This 2021 was not born quite well for him. In January, a cervical impingement conditioned the Australian assault and forced him to give up the trip to Paris; that is, Rotterdam, Acapulco, Miami and Dubai. On clay he fished the trophies of Barcelona and Rome, but took a severe impact with the loss to Nole in the Chatrier. Erased from Wimbledon and the Olympics, he tried unsuccessfully to re-engage on the North American asphalt, so Montreal and Cincinnati also disappeared from the roadmap. And now neither will he fight in the cement of New York nor will he attend the premiere of the Masters Cup in Turin, which was an incentive since it is one of the few awards that resists him. Nor will he defend the title won two years ago in the Davis Cup.

“I am with the utmost enthusiasm and predisposition to do whatever it takes to recover in the best possible way, to continue competing for the things that really motivate me. I am convinced that with the recovery of the foot and a daily effort this can be achieved ”, says the Spaniard, today four in the world and therefore out of the world podium, for the first time in four years.

Two trophies, as in 2016 and 2020

With his announcement, Nadal leaves behind a campaign that he approached with all hope and that has subsequently been passing between thorns. He took off with the possibility of surpassing Federer after having won the autumn edition of Roland Garros in 2020 and having relegated the difficult reality of confinement, of those months that, like every athlete, found it very difficult to work without a defined objective no competitive referrals. However, everything was getting complicated and in the end he sums up the course in seven tournaments and 29 games played (24 wins and five losses). That is to say, the Balearic Islands had never played so little, that last year it closed with 34 games (also in seven events) and that in 2012 (48 in 11), 2016 (53 in 16) or 2018 (49 in 10) it also had to put the brakes on significantly.

In terms of titles, it is the least productive year for him together with 2020 and 2016, when he also raised two. However, last year he triumphed for the 13th time at the Bois de Boulogne and five years ago (weighed down by an injury to his left wrist) he found golden consolation at the Rio Games, when he was crowned alongside Marc López.

“I promise that what I am going to do is work hard to continue enjoying this sport for a while longer,” says Nadal from the reserve, where Federer also suffers. With both out of combat, Djokovic revives himself from the couch and the facts underscore that a golden age is fading.

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