World No. 5 Rafael Nadal announced some rather disappointing news when he decided to withdraw from the 2021 US Open. Not only did he withdraw from the Grand Slam, but he announced that he would be ending his 2021 season with immediate effect.
In such a situation, Rafael Nadal will not only miss the US Open 2021, nor will he play in the next Indian Wells Masters, Paris Masters or the ATP Finals 2021 in Turin. All of this happens because Rafa is currently suffering from a foot injury.
He injured his foot at the 2021 French Open and then decided to take a short break from the sport. Even though he returned at the 2021 Citi Open, he was not fully fit and played despite the injury. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is now 35 years old and therefore recovery could take some time before he becomes fully fit.
Although he failed to win a Grand Slam this year, he finished with an ATP 500 and a Masters title in 2021. Rafael Nadal will be back in action in the 2022 tennis season. Although unconfirmed at this time, fans can witness the Spaniard at the 2022 ATP Cup.
Rafa has a habit of not playing any tournaments prior to the Australian Open as he can play in the ATP Cup. However, he was unable to participate in this year's tournament due to a back injury. Nadal will be watching the 2022 Australian Open, where he can successfully return to the court.
However, he will not be a surprise if he decides to play an ATP 250 or 500 tournament, in addition to the ATP Cup, to regain his form and momentum before the Grand Slam.
Carlos Moya speaks about Rafael Nadal
Now Rafael Nadal's coach Carlos Moya has given a few more details about the injury in an interview with El Transistor.
Moya revealed that given the nature of Nadal's injury, the team decided that taking a break and returning refreshed for the 2022 season would be the best decision. "Rafa's main goal is to recover sensations in the foot and in the head, because going in fits and starts throughout the year has not helped him," Moya said.
"He started with back pain in Australia, he has played only seven events this year. He missed Wimbledon, the Olympics and now the US Open and the Masters. That's why we should not look at what is happening on the circuit and concentrate on him," he added.
"The best thing was to stop, rest the foot and refresh the head and ideas to do good training and arrive fresh to 2022." According to the coach, Nadal's pain reached a point where he couldn't take it any longer.
"When he was diagnosed he was told that he could not compete anymore but with insoles and treatments he has been able to save it," Moya said. "But this year the story has changed; in many trainings he could not finish them and we have had to change and reduce the intensity for the foot keeping the tournaments in mind.
He has been in pain for months and there comes a time when he couldn't take it anymore," Moya added. "In the last match, he played practically lame."