Even without being 100%, Rafael Nadal decided to take the wild card of the Citi Open and compete in Washington for the first time in his career heading to Toronto. Things were not easy for the 20-time Major winner from the first clash, as he had to stay on the court for more than three hours against Jack Sock, beating the American in the decisive tiebreaker.
Suffering but refusing to give up, Nadal prevailed in that one and expected to compete the next day against Lloyd Harris. Rafa's foot looked slightly better in that one, but he failed to claim essential points in a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 loss at two hours and ten minutes.
The Spaniard regained his composure in the second set, securing a double break but not changing that form to a decisive one, where Lloyd broke it at 5-4 to seal the deal and advance to the quarters. Nadal went to Toronto and did a couple of workouts, preparing for another clash with Harris in the second round.
The two-time defending Canadian Open champion had to retire Tuesday, feeling the pain and not ready to give 100% of it. Nadal also withdrew from Cincinnati and returned to Spain to visit doctors prior to the US Open decision.
Schwartzman on Rafael Nadal
After losing in the third round of the Tokyo Olympics last month, Diego Schwartzman is back in action this week at the National Bank Open in Toronto. When asked about his best Masters 1000 win, Diego Schwartzman named his quarterfinal victory over Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open last year.
The Spaniard was bidding for his record 11th title in Rome, but Schwartzman pulled off a terrific effort to register his maiden win over Nadal. "Rafa last year in Rome," the Argentine said. "I was not playing my best tennis from the start of the [tour resumption] and I arrived to the match against Rafa trying to be able to play good tennis and feel good on court again.
I was able to play my best tennis ever," he added. "That match was special… I was able to take every chance he gave me in the match. It was a perfect match and obviously, against Rafa on clay, it was special."
Because of his persistent foot injury, Rafael Nadal had to withdraw from the two ATP Masters events, Toronto and Cincinnati, leading up to the US Open 2021. Moreover, he has now returned to his home in Spain to meet his personal doctor, Angel Ruiz-Cotorro.
Most significantly, the outcome of this meeting with the doctor will decide the Spaniard’s fate regarding New York. Not to forget that doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro has treated Nadal’s wrist injury in 2016 and many others during his professional career.