Rafael Nadal's 2021 was certainly not an unforgettable year. The Spanish champion has played just seven official tournaments, however managing to forfeit a couple of trophies on his beloved clay. However, the former world number 1 failed to attack his 14th Roland Garros, having to bow to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
It was during the Parisian 'campaign' that foot pain began to profoundly affect the performance of the 35-year-old Majorcan. Due to the aforementioned injury, Rafa was forced to miss Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open.
Given his physical condition, the decision to close the season early was inevitable. After undergoing a minor foot treatment, the 20-time Grand Slam champion is back in training and is preparing to compete in the Abu Dhabi exhibition.
It will be a good test for the Iberian in view of the Australian Open, where he will try to repeat his only triumph dating back to 2009. Alex Corretja analyzed Nadal's prospects in detail on Eurosport's microphones.
Corretja opens up on Nadal
"What worries me the most about Rafael Nadal's recovery are his movements," Corretja said. "His mobility on the court, his intensity, the way he is going to move, the way he will do the supports when he hits the ball.
When he moves well and is well supported to hit his backhand and arrives perfectly to play with his parallel forehand and dominate, Rafa is almost impossible to beat. The problem is how he gets to that ball so he can be well supported and hit well."
Recently, Rafael Nadal was honored as he featured in the Forbes’ Top 50 Awarded Spaniards. He has been included in the list due to his splendid performances during the 2020 season. In the recent past, Nadal has won his 13th French Open title, which tied him with professional rival and friend Roger Federer.
Reflecting on his season, he began competing in Melbourne and came as far as the quarterfinal at the Australian Open. After that, he won titles in Barcelona and Rome. Sadly, he could not win the French Open. He skipped the Wimbledon Championships and the US Open.
However, it is great to know that he will be seen soon again on the Tour. His playing in Abu Dhabi will provide him with match practice as the new season is soon going to approach. We wish him all the best for the upcoming event. All eyes will be on him when he steps out on the tennis courts once again.