Over the past 16 years, Rafael Nadal has achieved almost everything on the tennis court, securing 20 Major titles and 36 Masters 1000 trophies. Since his early years on the Tour, the Spaniard has dealt with injuries, struggling with numerous setbacks and skipping some essential tournaments.
In Madrid 2005, Nadal won an epic final against Ivan Ljubicic despite a broken left foot, prevailing in five sets but finishing the season and staying away from the action for a couple of months. Rafa learned how to deal with it over the years, almost always feeling slighter or sharper pain but pushing strong en route to becoming one of the greatest players of all time.
Nadal's foot hurt again last year following a long break due to the pandemic, and it returned in June during the Roland Garros semi-final against Novak Djokovic. Rafa lost that one in four sets, having nothing left in the tank in the closing stages and missing three weeks.
The Spaniard withdrew from Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, and he tested his foot in Washington, which did not end up well. Still feeling a massive pain, Nadal decided to withdraw from Toronto and Cincinnati before making an even more radical move and put the rest of the season aside.
Rafa will try to heal his troubled foot and start all over in 2022, still eager to chase notable titles and high ranking positions.
Rafael Nadal is suffering from a foot injury, like many times in the past.
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.