Rafael Nadal has experienced a rather complicated 2021 due to a series of physical problems. At first a back injury, which did not allow him to present himself in the best form at the Australian Open. The Spanish phenomenon returned to the pitch during the clay court season, where he collected two trophies (Barcelona and Rome), but missed the appointment with the 14th seal at Roland Garros.
It was during the semifinal against Novak Djokovic that the former world number 1 began to experience a nagging pain in his foot. The 35-year-old from Manacor has decided to give up both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, in the hope of being 100% for the North American 'campaign'
After a couple of matches played in Washington, Rafa has chosen to end his season prematurely. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will return to the circuit in 2022, although it is not yet known when. Regardless of what happens in the next month and a half, the Iberian should still keep his place in the Top 10.
In a long interview with the Japanese magazine 'Number', Nadal analyzed the evolution of tennis over the last decade.
Nadal on the keys to his on-court temperament
"I like to compete, but I always control myself on the track," Rafael Nadal said.
"I have never lost my nerves or broken a racket. I've never behaved like crazy. My philosophy is never to give up in sports. It happens to me the same when I play golf or soccer with my friends." He believes it is important to have "positive feelings" during a match, even if things are not going your way.
"When you're on court, it's important to control your emotions," Nadal said. "In my case, I practice yoga and meditation to be able to control my emotions when I am playing. You always have to enter the court with positive feelings.
It is important to maintain confidence, even when conditions are not ideal." Rafael Nadal is an avid golfer and a passionate fan of the sport. When he doesn't have any tennis commitments, he often spends his time playing golf or attending golf tournaments.
"I usually watch golf on television," Rafael Nadal said. "Sometimes, I sit on the sofa and it gives me the early morning. I usually go to bed late when I see golf, but at least, I can sleep 5 hours. It's a healthy pastime, rather than going for a drink out there."
It is a rare sight to see Nadal lose at Roland Garros. Djokovic has done it once previously but failed to go the distance. However, this year, he went on to win the title. When these two athletes step on the courts it is a guaranteed fact that the match would be gruesome. And history only highlights this fact.