Coach Toni Nadal reveals that Rafael Nadal has been hampered by a foot issue since the start of his career but his career turned out much better than the doctors expected. Nadal, 35, played in only one event in the second part of the 2021 season.
After losing in the French Open semifinal, Nadal took a two-month break to treat his foot. Nadal returned to action in Washington, where he suffered a shock loss to Lloyd Harris. Shortly after the loss, Nadal called it a season.
Nadal made an impressive comeback to tennis this past January as he captured back-to-back titles at the Melbourne Summer Set and Australian Open. "He dragged the problem from Estoril, in 2004. In 2005 we already knew what he had (a dysplasia that deforms a bone in his foot)," Toni told La Vanguardia.
"The first specialist told us that Rafael would hardly do well in high-level sports... He has turned out better than expected, hasn't he?"
Nadal happy to be playing again
In Australia, Nadal admitted there was point when he was unsure whether he would be able to make a comeback again.
In the end, Nadal decided to fly to Australia and give a shot to the Australian Open. Not only that Nadal was able to play, he ended up winning a record 21st Grand Slam title. "At the end of the day, playing tennis for me is much more important for me than winning the 21 because that makes me more happy in general life because I am being able to do what I love to do more than achieving another Grand Slam.
At the end of the day, the life, it's about happiness and what makes me happy is having the chance to do what I like to do," Nadal said in Australia.