Former Australian Open tournament director Paul McNamee thinks the efforts Rafael Nadal put up in Australia are maybe now catching up to him. After skipping almost the entire second half of the 2021 season due to a lingering foot issue, Nadal returned to action in Australia, where he won the Melbourne Summer Set and Australian Open.
Unfortunately, Nadal is again experiencing problems with his foot as on Thursday he suffered a surprise defeat to Denis Shapovalov in Rome. After the match, Nadal revealed his troublesome foot was causing him great pain.
"Rafa is clearly not performing optimally on clay... It may transpire that his great victory in Australia extracted a high price physically," McNamee wrote on Twitter.
Rafa is clearly not performing optimally on clay… … it may transpire that his great victory in Australia extracted a high price physically — 🎗️ Paul McNamee (@PaulFMcNamee) May 13, 2022
Nadal opened up in his press conference
After losing to Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid, Nadal didn't want to talke about his foot.
In Rome, Nadal looked deprived and opened up about the injury that has been bothering for a long time. “I had my foot again with a lot of pain,” Nadal said in his post-match press conference. “I am a player living with an injury; it is nothing new.
It's something that is there. Unfortunately my day-by-day is difficult, honestly. it’s difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes. Today at half the second set, it starts and then it wasn't playable for me.
I don't want to take away anything from Denis. Today is for him. Well done for him”. Also, Nadal revealed he wasn't even able to practice properly in Rome. “Since I came back, the foot has been tough,” he said.
“It's tough for me to be able to practise the proper way days in a row. So then you need to move well to compete at the highest level, something that I am not able to practise. The toughest thing for me today is honestly I start to feel myself play much better. I started the match playing much better. My practice was much better, the warmup, than the other day”.