The 20-time Major champion Rafael Nadal will not play again in 2021 due to an ongoing foot injury. With higher or smaller intensity, Nadal has been dealing with foot issues for over 15 years, learning to cope with them but not overcoming the problems every time without making a break from tennis.
In June, Rafa felt a sharp foot in his pain during the Roland Garros semi-final clash against Novak Djokovic, staying away from the practice court for three weeks and skipping Wimbledon and the Olympic Games. Eager to play again and at least test his foot, Rafa took the Citi Open wild card and made the Washington debut.
Still struggling, the Spaniard played two matches and withdrew from Toronto and Cincinnati, knowing he could not make much without being at 100%. On Friday, Rafa announced the big news with his fans, saying he will not compete again in 2021 due to an ongoing injury.
Still feeling a sharp pain, Nadal withdrew from the US Open and the remaining events this year, hoping to recover before 2022 and compete injury-free again.
Rafael Nadal decided to stay away from the court until 2022 with a foot injury.
I wanted to inform you that, unfortunately, I have to end the 2021 season. Honestly, I have been suffering much more than I should with my foot for a year, and I need to take some time. After discussing it with the team and family, this decision has been made, and I think it is the way forward to try to recover.
I have missed events that matter a lot to me, including Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and the US Open. There are some other significant events that I will miss, especially after a reduced schedule in 2020 due to the pandemic, when I could not train or play as much as I should.
I need time to recover, change some things and improve the condition of my foot. It's not a new injury, and I have been dealing with it since 2005. Luckily, it has not prevented me from developing my career throughout the years.
Things have not gone well for me this year, and I have to make tough decisions and seek a slightly different type of treatment that would at least reduce my foot issues and extend my career for a few more years. I'm determined to do everything it takes to recover and compete again for the trophies that have motivated me for all those years.
I'm convinced that can be achieved if I heel my foot and put in daily efforts. I will work hard to make that happen. Thank you in advance for all the support, understanding and expressions of affection that are very important and more in difficult times like these. I promise you to work hard, extend my career and enjoy the sport for longer," Rafael Nadal said.