Rafael Nadal has started this new season with great goals and new amazing records, like the 21st Slam won at the Australian Open. The serious foot injury he suffered for much of last year left no idea what the Spaniard actually achieved in the early stages of 2022.
With just one tournament under his belt, Nadal accomplished a feat beyond imagination with the victory of the Australian Open, which came at the end of a physically exhausting comeback. A few weeks later, Rafa's triumph in Acapulco and the final in Indian Wells were added to Rafa's extraordinary start to the season.
It is exactly here that Nadal's journey abruptly ends, forced to stop due to an (unusual) stress fracture in the third left rib and, consequently, to miss the first appointments on clay: Monte Carlo and Barcelona. There is, however, at the Masters 1000 in Madrid, where he will debut tomorrow against one between Kecmanovic and Bublik.
A Nadal who, in the last two weeks, has suffered particularly from his injury, as he himself declared.
Nadal: "I couldn't sleep and I trained for half an hour at a time"
Rafa explained: "I recovered from my injury, but the preparation and the level of play are another story.
Anyone who has dealt with a rib fracture knows how much this problem limits you. In the first few weeks, I also struggled to sleep and breathe from the pain. It's not an injury that requires long recovery times, but it doesn't allow you to do almost anything."
Despite the suffering, however, no complaints, proof of the combativeness of the athlete Rafa Nadal: "I resumed training two weeks ago, but I didn't do more than half an hour at a time. It was a difficult time but I always thought that being there wrapped in negativity and complaining never helped. I'll try to do my best knowing that Roland Garros is three weeks away."