Rafael Nadal has recently announced that he will miss the US Open scheduled in just over a week and that he will come back only in 2022. An important news but not entirely unexpected, given that the Spaniard had admitted that he still felt pain in his foot and had given up to both American Masters 1000.
His parenthesis on hardcourts goes on file with just two matches played, those against Jack Sock and Lloyd Harris in Washington. The Mallorcan played very few tournaments this year, also due to a back injury at the start of the season.
Despite all the difficulties listed, Rafa was able to lift two trophies (Barcelona and Rome), nullifying match points along the way in both cases. His big goal was of course Roland Garros, where he hoped to put his 21st Major on the board by beating his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Toni Nadal on the importance of Carlos Moya for Rafael
It was Nole in the semifinals that blocked his way. Speaking in the latest edition of the podcast hosted by Eric Han, Toni Nadal, who coached his grandson until 2017, explained how the arrival of Carlos Moya helped Rafael improve his game.
Toni said: "I still remember the last conversation I had with Rafael Nadal at the end of the 2016 season. It was just him and me at that moment and I took the opportunity to give him a speech. I told him that he was no longer able to run as before, so he had to become more aggressive, go to the net more and absolutely improve his serve.
The serve is a fundamental weapon when a player begins to age. I think Carlos Moya gave him the confidence to implement the changes I had illustrated to him. It was a fundamental step to allow Rafa to remain competitive for a few more years."
The 35-year-old from Manacor forfeited his last Grand Slam at Roland Garros 2020, which was staged exceptionally last fall due to the pandemic. Nadal imposed himself without giving even a set to his opponents.