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 failed to score his 14th titolo at the 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 swing.
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 criticizes today's tennis
Nadal said: "In the past, talent and tactics were much more relevant than they are today.
He needed more sagacity to make the point, while today's tennis is based on different concepts. On land it is still possible to maneuver, on grass and concrete it has become almost impossible. Tennis is faster and faster and I'm not convinced it's the right way."
The service is the blow that most of all has benefited from technological innovations. Rafa added: "If a solution is not found soon, there is a risk that tennis will become hostage to that single shot. I think the situation will get worse in the next ten years."
The Mallorcan's career lasted much longer than expected: "Many people thought that my style of play was too expensive, but they were wrong since I reached 35," concluded the Spaniard. Nadal should come back on the court for the beginning of the next season.