Rafael Nadal saw his 2021 as a very difficult year. The Spanish champion has been at a standstill for months now and has seen his season close early due to a heavy and annoying foot problem; the Spaniard played his last match in the ATP Washington tournament, losing to Harris when he was in poor physical condition.
Rafa had problems since the semifinal of Roland Garros, a tournament that saw him as the main favorite and that saw him succumb in a historic semifinal in the match against world number one Novak Djokovic. Nadal has played only seven tournaments this season, conditioned by physical problems and which will force him to skip this final part of the season and the ATP Finals in Turin.
Although to a lesser extent than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal has faced a decline this season as his position in the Race certifies. The Spaniard is in fact, up to now, ninth in the Race classification and has just been overtaken by the blue player Jannik Sinner.
Unless there are sensational twists, Rafa could even come out of the Top Ten this year but this is already the worst data regarding his ranking from 2005 to now. Nadal has decided to close his 2022 early, eager to extend his career and fight again for the most important titles in existence: currently the Spaniard shares the record of 20 Slams along with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, but before finishing the his career aspires to try to outdo his fearsome rivals.
During a recent interview Nadal said: "I like to compete but I always tend to control myself when I'm on the pitch. I've never given in to my nerves by breaking a racket, I don't like to behave like crazy and my philosophy is not to give up.
never in sports, it is the same when I play golf or football with my friends. When I'm on the pitch it's important to control my emotions."
Rafael Nadal on his future
Rafael Nadal is no stranger to venturing out of tennis and trying his hand at other sports; the 35-year-old is an amateur golfer who has played in several official tournaments.
Against that background, Nadal claimed that if he can take up golf, he can also get into Padel some day. "I don't know what the future will be like," Nadal said. "I will continue with my tennis career. I like sport in general.
I play golf. I think I'll grab a padel racket, why not? I am sure that in the future I will have more time to enjoy other sports. Padel is growing and I think it will be fun because it's easier to play." Rafael Nadal will be making his return to the tennis court at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi next month.
The Spaniard ended his 2021 season early due to a chronic foot injury, which kept him out of Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics, and the US Open.