A Bittersweet Decision: Nadal's Surgery Signals Renewed Ambition

Rafael Nadal underwent surgery on Friday night in Barcelona

by Jovica Ilic
A Bittersweet Decision: Nadal's Surgery Signals Renewed Ambition

Rafael Nadal underwent arthroscopic surgery on Friday night in Barcelona, checking his left psoas muscle that has kept him out of competition since the Australian Open. Doctors Philippon, Vilaro and Ruiz-Cotorro underwent the procedure, and we should get more news about it on Saturday.

Alex Corretja said it was a shame to see Rafa having surgery at the time of Roland Garros, but he also noted positive notes. Surgery means that Rafa is still eager to come back and compete in 2024, which should be excellent news for all tennis fans.

The Spaniard has been sidelined for four months, injuring his left hip at the Australian Open and failing to recover. The veteran skipped nine tournaments, including his beloved Roland Garros, and will leave the top-100 in ten days for the first time since 2003!

Despite constant setbacks, Nadal was a Major contender between 2017 and 2022, passing Roger Federer and standing on 22 titles after the last year's Roland Garros. The veteran led the ATP Race in June last year after conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros, collecting 22 Majors and looking good to become world no.

1 at 36! Instead, he experienced an abdominal injury at Wimbledon and withdrew ahead of the semi-final. Rafa revealed a seven-millimeter abdominal tear and never reached that level again.

Rafael Nadal underwent surgery on his hip on Friday night in Barcelona.

The Spaniard played with the pain at the US Open and fell in the fourth round.

Nadal could not find the rhythm in November after an extended break, losing four consecutive matches for the first time in 13 years! Rafa embraced an off-season with hopes for a fresh start in 2023. Instead, he has played only four encounters this year, losing three and sealing his fate in the top-10 after Indian Wells, leaving the exclusive group after almost 18 years!

Not feeling at his best, Rafa gave everything while seeking the Australian Open title defense in January. He overpowered the young Briton Jack Draper in the first round and faced Mackenzie McDonald in the second. The American scored a 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 triumph and delivered the Spaniard's earliest loss at Majors since 2016.

Rafa injured his left hip in the second set's closing stages, refusing to retire and giving his 120% in the third. However, he suffered a late break to propel the rival over the top and drop almost 2000 ATP points. Nadal revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas injury that will ruin the finishing stages of his incredible career.

Rafa plans to embrace his final run in 2024, returning to the events he likes and terminating his glorious tennis journey on his terms. "Well, we heard Rafa would try something different that did not work until now. Of course, we heard that he might have surgery, although we did not know when.

It's a shame to read about Rafa's surgery at the time of Roland Garros, but at the same time, it's a hope. For me, it's crucial. It shows us that Rafa still wants to be around and find solutions for his injury. Rafa still feels he can make a comeback, which is excellent," Alex Corretja said.

Rafael Nadal