Rafael Nadal: 'I considered withdrawing, as I could not find solution for..'

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Rafael Nadal: 'I considered withdrawing, as I could not find solution for..'

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic battled for four hours and 11 minutes in the last year's Roland Garros semi-final. The Spaniard gave his best against world no. 1, claiming the opener and wasting his chances in the third to fall 3-1 and experience the third Roland Garros defeat.

Rafa experienced a foot injury and did not play well in the fourth set, struggling with his movement and skipping Wimbledon and the Olympic Games. Eager to test his body again, the Spaniard played two encounters in Washington in August, beating Jack Sock in three hours and losing to Lloyd Harris in the next round.

Nadal decided to wrap up the season and tried many different solutions to take the pain away, even undergoing a minor procedure in Barcelona in September. The 20-time Major winner started to practice in October, hoping to find the form and get ready for 2022.

Traveling to Melbourne, Rafa entered a small ATP 250 event and beat three rivals to claim the first ATP title since May last year. Feeling good on the court and setting no goals at the Australian Open, the Spaniard ousted seven opponents to lift the trophy and write history as the first player with 21 Major crowns.

Speaking about a couple of perfect weeks in Melbourne, Nadal admitted he considered skipping the Down Under trip, unable to heel his foot and seeking more solutions. He found one that reduced the pain and allowed him to compete on the highest level in the best-of-five encounters.

Rafa had to dig deep against Karen Khachanov and Denis Shapovalov, beating the Canadian in over four hours to find himself in the semis.

Rafael Nadal had struggled with a foot injury before winning the Australian Open.

Matteo Berrettini took a set away from the legend, but Nadal earned a 3-1 win to advance into the sixth Australian Open final, somewhere he could not have imagined in December.

In a clash of the titans, Rafa overpowered Daniil 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in five hours and 24 minutes, prevailing in the second-longest Major title clash and winning his first Australian Open in 13 years! Medvedev had a massive advantage and could have sealed the deal had he converted any of three break chances in the third set's sixth game.

Still, the Spaniard stayed calm, defended those and gathered a boost that led him towards sets three and four. Rafa built the advantage in the final set's fifth game with a forehand winner and served for the title in game ten.

Daniil broke back in the last moment to level the score at 5-5, but it was not to be for him after dropping games 11 and 12 to propel Rafa over the top. "After a foot injury at Roland Garros, I tried to go to Washington to see if the adrenaline of the competition would help.

I realized it was impossible to continue with the season. We tried different things to solve the issue and make the pain go away, and I even considered withdrawing from the Australian Open, as nothing seemed to work. Suddenly, I made a progress and began to train normally, like before the injury.

I'm aware that this injury can not be fixed, and that's why I want to enjoy every moment while I'm on the court competing," Rafael Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal Roland Garros