Record 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal revealed to Reuters he would have likely skipped any other Grand Slam with this type of injury. Nadal, 36, used injections to completely numb the pain from his foot and that's how he was able to compete at Roland Garros.
On Sunday, Nadal defeated Casper Ruud in the French Open final to win a record 14th French Open title and a record 22nd Grand Slam title. On Monday, Reuters asked Nadal if he would have played other Grand Slam with this type of injury.
"Probably not," Nadal answered to Reuters. Nadal, who turned 36 last week, admitted this year's French Open run was a bit unexpected and surprising. "We have been through a lot of emotions. Probably the most unexpected, surprising (title) and all the things I had to do to play the event makes the title one of the most special," Nadal said.
Nadal didn't have a perfect preparation
Traditionally, Nadal arrives to Roland Garros with at least or two clay titles under his belt. This year, that wasn't the case. "(Winning those titles) gives you an extra security if you want to reach at least the level you need to fight for the final rounds," Nadal noted.
"This time before the tournament started I didn't know if I would be able to fight for the second week so I just took it one (round) at a time." In 2024, Paris will host the Olympics. When asked about his preference, Nadal picked the French Open.
"Roland Garros is part of the history of my career, it's the most important place in my career and of course the Olympics is the most important event in the world of sports," he said. "So it's difficult to choose but possibly Roland Garros (the French Open) is a little more special for me."