Swedish tennis legend Mats Wilander says he definitely won't be writing off Rafael Nadal from the French Open title contention because the Spaniard has mastered returning from injuries and winning big titles. In Rome, Nadal was clearly bothered by a foot pain and he ended up suffering a surprise defeat to Denis Shapovalov in the round-of-16.
“Rafa’s career is like that. I always compare Rafa to a horse: he will run as fast as he can and fight. His effort has no limits, his limit is injuries," Wilander told Marca, per Tennishead. “He will continue until an injury does not allow him to play anymore.
The reality is that he has learned to come back from injuries and he always comes back. You always see something different in him when he’s back. One day he won’t be able to come back. He hinted that he might not be able to last year and the results have proven him wrong”.
Wilander: I'm definitely not writing off Nadal
Even though this might be Nadal's most challenging clay season ever, many still have him among top favorites for the French Open title. “It is true that he could feel injured in Rome, but he knows how to preserve his physique to give himself a chance at Roland Garros," Wilander added.
Nadal usually doesn't want to talk much about his foot after losses but he was absolutely deprived after losing to Shapovalov. “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”. Nadal was bothered by a foot pain a year ago as well and didn't win the French Open.
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