Rafael Nadal has given up on the US Open for the second consecutive edition. The foot injury that haunted him for most of the year prevailed, forcing him to end his season prematurely. The former world number 1 was able to play the misery of seven tournaments throughout 2021, still managing to raise two trophies in Barcelona and Rome.
The semifinal against Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros exacerbated the physical problems of the Spaniard, who in fact decided to skip Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. The return to Washington did not have the desired effects, with Rafa in pain from the first round against Jack Sock.
After being defeated by Lloyd Harris in the next round, the 35-year-old Majorcan flew to Toronto to play the Masters 1000 in hopes that his conditions would improve. Despite the willingness to take the field, his foot continued to haunt the Iberian, who could not help but accept the situation.
Even before making his debut in Canada, the news of Nadal's forfeit has come. The rest is history. In a recent interview with MARCA, his compatriot Alex Corretja expressed his opinion on this topic.
Corretja reflects on Rafael Nadal
The breaks have hampered his rhythm and flow throughout the year.
He was looking good at the beginning of the year and could have won a lot this year. “It makes me unsettled to see how Rafael Nadal will be after so many months without competing, but he is optimistic. I know, from his surroundings, that he is eager and that this is not over,” said Alex Corretja in an interview with Marca.
“Rafa’s career is not over and I am confident that he will win another ‘Grand Slam’,” said Alex. He had to withdraw from the Canadian Open and the Cincinnati Open as well before playing a single game.
“I understand that you miss the season because you want to find solutions to the problem you have. What worries me is that then he has to come back from a hiatus and is getting older,” said Alex. “When you have been without a player for so many months, other problems come to you or the same ones come back to you as happened to Federer.
You lose a lot of competition rhythm and that does worry me,” said Alex. The Big 3, consisting of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, are currently tied on 20 Grand Slams. But the Serb can move ahead of his two rivals for the first time in his career by winning the US Open next month.
Federer, 40, will be out for many months after recently announcing that he will require a third surgery on his right knee, while Nadal has called time on his 2021 season due to a foot injury. That makes Djokovic the overwhelming favorite to win a fourth US Open title and complete the Calendar Grand Slam.