Andrea Petkovic cracks Rafael Nadal joke when discussing pain limits in tennis

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Andrea Petkovic cracks Rafael Nadal joke when discussing pain limits in tennis
Andrea Petkovic cracks Rafael Nadal joke when discussing pain limits in tennis

Former world No. 9 Andrea Petkovic jokingly said she maybe finished her career without a Grand Slam title but at least still has a nerve in her foot that she can feel. Petkovic, who turned 35 just 10 days ago, retired from professional tennis after the US Open.

Over the course of her career, Petkovic dealt with ankle, knee and back injuries. After dealing with foot pain just days before the French Open, Rafael Nadal decided to completely anaesthetise his foot. With a numb foot, Nadal went all the way at the French Open.

"That's why he might have 22 Grand Slam titles and I have zero. But I still have a nerve in my foot that I can feel and that works," Petkovic joked, per Eurosport Deutschland.

Petkovic couldn't deal with pain anymore

"I stopped this year too, because I couldn't train without painkillers, especially in the past two months before I stopped.

And I didn't want to play like that," Petkovic revealed. Nadal, who suffers from the Mueller-Weiss syndrome, didn't want to miss the French Open and he went extreme lengths to be able to go out and compete. For two weeks straight, Nadal was taking anti-inflammatories and his foot was "put down to sleep." Petkovic, who was a pro for over a decade and a half, admits players sometimes have to make radical decisions if they want to win.

"As a professional athlete, you have to go beyond limits. Professional sport is not healthy. It has nothing to do with health. It's extreme competitive sport," Petkovic explained. Meanwhile, Petkovic decided to retire after the US Open.

At the US Open, Petkovic suffered a three-set defeat in the first round to Belinda Bencic. After losing to Bencic, Petkovic said she would like to be remembered for her grit and tenacity. Petkovic finished her career with seven WTA titles. Petkovic was once a top-10 player and reached her first and lone Grand Slam semifinal at the 2014 French Open.

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