If on the one hand Novak Djokovic continues to grind wins and points in the ranking, on the other one of the other members of the Big Three, Rafael Nadal, has given up for the rest of 2021. The physical problems of recent months do not allow him to return to the field in the short term to the Spanish champion, who underwent a treatment on his left foot just three days ago as he himself announced.
The absence from the circuit will therefore not allow him to compete with Djokovic for the race to the twenty-first Slam of his career (nor with Federer, whose recovery times are completely unknown), but in the face of advancing age also a super athlete like he has to manage his body with a dropper if he wants to preserve its longevity.
In any case, for Nadal the conquest of titles around the world, which is also a reason of great prestige, is not a priority: his goal is rather to be an example for the youngest.
Nadal won a record 13th French Open title in Paris
The loss in the round of 16 in Washington to Lloyd Harris was the last game played by Rafael Nadal, who gave way to the South African in three sets.
The physical conditions with which he lived on the pitch, however, were nothing short of disastrous, so much so that his coach Carlos Moya claimed to have even seen him limp. From there the decision to renounce the US Open and the rest of the rest of 2021 (it will therefore also skip the ATP Finals).
The Majorcan is not in a hurry to return, however, also because winning tournaments is not something for which he wishes to be remembered by tennis fans when he ends his career. Rather, his purpose is to be recognized as a role model: “Numerous tournaments have actually contacted me to enter the field (participate) - says Nadal -, but things are different than in the past.
To play I have to be ready both physically and mentally; none have unlimited batteries. When you are young you have a lot of energy, but now you have to make decisions that you sometimes don't like and skip tournaments that you would like to play.
In the future I don't want to be remembered as a tennis player with numerous titles but as the one who left a good example for boys and girls; he is my only target. If there is one thing I would like to be able to say that I did well, it is that I have transmitted positive things on and off the pitch, which makes me very satisfied,” concludes the Spaniard.