Rafael Nadal's season ended abruptly on August 6th 2021, when Lloyd Harris triumphed by two sets to one in the round of 16 match of the ATP 500 in Whashington. Already the previous match with Jack Sock, won with an unusual effort, had launched the first signs on the health of the Majorcan, who has not set foot on the pitch since that appointment.
He will do it again in mid-December at the friendly tournament in Abu Dhabi. An annoying left foot injury is what prompted him to give up many appointments - on all the US Open and the ATP Finals - a problem that had been dragging on for an abundant year.
The capital of the United States was the last test, then the decision: better care and hope to return strong in 2022. Rafa Nadal's number 1 goal is clearly to play the Australian Open (17-30 January 2022), but to do so he will want and must be sure that he is 100% in his condition.
Nadal chooses the path of prudence
A competition player like him, who has as many as 20 Slam on the showcase, would never accept the idea of taking the field being his own double. This is why the Spaniard combines the desire to return with a good dose of prudence, as it is logical that those who have learned to know their body and above all know that they no longer have the physical integrity of the past: "Until everything is clear 100%, I can't say too much.
It's just that I don't even know yet. Everything is analyzed as the weeks go by. My idea is to come back as soon as possible, but to come back well." The treatments are proceeding regularly and he assures that he is following the rehabilitation plan to the letter, but only the camp will be able to provide the definitive response: "We will not know how (the foot) is doing until we increase the load and put ourselves to the test to the maximum.
level. For the moment I am obedient and I do what I am told in this process." he says. Rafa reveals that, for the moment, things are on the right track: "We are better than before, otherwise I would not be thinking of going to Abu Dhabi . What will happen from there I don't know. It will be a test to see how everything is."