Former Australian Open tournament director Paul McNamee believes Rafael Nadal's efforts in Australia may be taking a toll on him. After skipping almost the entire second half of the 2021 season due to a persistent foot problem, Nadal returned to action in Australia, where he won the Melbourne Summer Set and the Australian Open.
Unfortunately, Nadal is having problems with his foot again, suffering a shock loss to Denis Shapovalov in Rome on Thursday. After the match, Nadal revealed that his annoying foot was causing him great pain. "Clearly Rafa is not performing at his best on clay...
It is possible that his big win in Australia will come at a heavy physical price," McNamee wrote on Twitter. After losing to Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid, Nadal did not want to talk about his foot. In Rome, Nadal was sore and was honest about the injury that has been bothering him for a long time.
"My foot is in a lot of pain again," Nadal said in his post-match press conference. "I am a player who lives with an injury; it is nothing new. It is something that is there. Unfortunately, my day to day is difficult, honestly.
Sometimes I have a hard time accepting the situation. Today, in the middle of the second set, it starts and then it was not playable for me. I don't want to take anything away from Denis. Today is for him. Good for him."
Also, Nadal revealed that he couldn't even practice well in Rome."
Rafa won 21 Grand Slam titles
Ten-time Italian Open champion Rafael Nadal succumbed to a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 defeat at the hands of Denis Shapovalov on Thursday.
"No, I am not injured," Nadal said. "I am a player living with an injury. That's it. No, no, is nothing new. It's something that is there." According to Nadal, his foot pain is not only debilitating but also detrimental to a normal practice session.
"Unfortunately my day-by-day is difficult, honestly," he continued. "Even like this, I am trying hard. Of course, it's difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes, no? Yeah, can be frustrating that a lot of days I can't practice the proper way.
Then today at half the second set starts the thing, then wasn't playable for me." There is a lot of bustle around Russian and Belarusian players getting banned from Wimbledon this year. A lot of players have expressed their views either in favor of it or against it.