2021 will certainly not go down in history as the best year ever for Rafael Nadal. The former world number 1 has been limited by a series of physical problems since the beginning of 2021. You will surely remember the pain in his back that prevented him from showing up in the best conditions at the Australian Open.
The Spanish star played a full season on clay, but had to settle for 'only' two triumphs in Barcelona and Rome. Roland Garros was obviously his main target, given that any success in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower would bring him to 21 Majors.
His race instead stopped against Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Already during that game, the most attentive had noticed Rafa's pain in his foot. The 35-year-old from Manacor has missed both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, hoping to return 100% for the North American trip.
After playing a couple of matches in Washington, he was forced to raise the white flag. The Majorcan will not return to the pitch before the start of 2022. With Federer and Nadal away from the tour for most of 2021, Djokovic took the opportunity to close the gap that separated him from eternal rivals in the Grand Slam standings.
Nadal failed to win a single Major in 2021
Speaking about Rafael Nadal, he began competing in Melbourne and lost in the quarterfinal of the Australian Open. In Paris, he lost in the semifinal to Novak Djokovic. After that, he skipped the Wimbledon Championships and the Tokyo Olympics.
He then ended his season after a dismal appearance in Washington. “It's okay not to accept defeat, it's a matter of self-esteem. Every day, we give our best to be ready, to fight. To accept defeat without saying anything would be to disrespect all the efforts that have been made and produced.
Being angry after a loss is therefore a good sign of maturity while having the ability to accept and analyze it" - Rafael Nadal stated. Rafael Nadal struggled with various physical issues in 2021, which allowed him to play only seven ATP events in total.
It is pertinent to note, however, that the Spaniard received some sort of treatment for his foot injury a few weeks ago, and he will likely start training on the tennis court shortly. Nadal failed to win a single Major in 2021, allowing Novak Djokovic to draw level with the Spaniard and Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slam titles. The three will resume their quest for Grand Slam supremacy next season.