'Rafael Nadal may never be able to win big tournaments again', says legend



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'Rafael Nadal may never be able to win big tournaments again', says legend

Rafael Nadal warned about ten days ago that he was not going to play any more for the remainder of the season. He lowered the hammer to 2021 and, consequently, he will have to spend time away from the slopes to be able to recover from his left foot injury (Müller-Weiss syndrome) and, thus, be able to return next year from the best possible way.

In that sense, he did not compete in the US Open for logical reasons and reality shows that both he and Roger Federer are entering the final stage of his sporting careers. In that sense, Boris Becker commented: "Nadal fans have to gradually get used to the idea that he will not play forever.

Unfortunately, one does not get fit in practice, but rather has to return to the circuit to play games and that carries the risk of injuring oneself again," he said on Eurosport television in the framework of the transmission of the last Grand Slam of the calendar tennis player.

Nadal will give up at least one place in the international rankings as he will not be able to defend the title won in 2019 at Flushing Meadows. While it will be difficult for many players to overtake him in two weeks time, he could lose more positions (he is already guaranteed to drop to sixth place) until the end of this year.

So much so that Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud, Denis Shapovalov and Hubert Hurkacz are some of the players who will try to surpass it with the running of the tournaments. Beyond that, the Spaniard closed his season with 2,985 points as a result of 24 wins and five defeats with two titles included (Rome and Barcelona).

Wilander speaks about Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal's foot problem flared up during his Roland Garros semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic earlier this year. The Spaniard subsequently withdrew from Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.

Weighing in on the news of Nadal's latest setback, seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander said he was "sad and very worried" about the Spaniard's condition. According to Wilander, Nadal may never be able to win big tournaments again.

"I am very sad and very worried but I do think he [will] keep coming back until he no longer can," Wilander told Eurosport. At the moment the will to play is still there. The era of winning may be over, but the era of filling stands with fans is still alive.

There’s a couple more years of it. It might be the end of winning Grand Slam tournaments, but with Rafa and Roland Garros and the love affair he has over there, you can never say it is the end of that relationship until the day he has hung his rackets on the wall," Wilander said.