After Roger Federer's terrible announcement, Rafael Nadal also had to close his season prematurely. The foot injury - which worsened considerably after Roland Garros - gave him no respite since his return to the hard courts in Washington, forcing him to make a decision that was as painful as it was inevitable.
The Spanish phenomenon will not compete in the US Open in just over a week and will not return to the field before 2022. The former world number 1 has won two titles this year, respectively in Barcelona and Rome, but has never given the feeling of being in top condition.
The 35-year-old from Manacor has been suffering from this problem since 2005, but thanks to a special insole he had always managed to manage it. The impression is that this is not a serious injury, but it is clear that physical wear has forced the Majorcan to play less and less in recent seasons.
Speaking on Eurosport, former Swedish tennis player Mats Wilander expressed his concerns about the future of the Iberian.
Mats Wilander talks about Rafael Nadal
The former world number one recognizes that he sees Rafael Nadal in a rather worrying physical condition and affirms that it is becoming very common not to see him play in tournaments on the circuit: "I think we are getting used to Rafa not being able to play.
He's always trying, he's always ready but eventually it doesn't happen. He went to Washington to play a couple of games and then he tried in Canada but it didn't work. Obviously he's trying, but he can't get it.
Every year I feel like he's playing less and less. He's getting old and his body is taking a real beating. He must be training hard to try to play again. I'm very sad, very worried, but I think he will try to come back until one day he says he can't take it anymore."
Mats Wilander does not see that Nadal's retirement is close, but he does believe that it will be more difficult for him to fight for the important titles: "I do not think it is the end of an era far from it. It may be the end of winning tournaments of Grand Slam, but we all know very well Rafa's love story with Roland Garros.
It can never be said that it is the end of that relationship until the day the Spaniard decides to hang up the racket. In conclusion, the era of winning may have over, but the era of filling the stands and playing in front of the fans will live on for another couple of years."
Rafael Nadal’s departure means he loses 2000 points from the US Open. He makes way for Hubert Hurkacz, who lies in 8th place with 2460 points. On the other hand, Novak Djokovic leads the race to Turin with 7170 points to his name. Not far behind him lie Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev, with 5155 and 4200 points, respectively.