The suspicion that Rafael Nadal would not have played in the US Open has turned into reality. Not only will the Spanish champion miss the New York Grand Slam for the second time in a row (he was also absent in 2020), but he will not return to the court before the start of 2022.
The former world number 1 has never looked in top form this season, not even during his beloved interlude on clay. After being eliminated in the semifinals at the Roland Garros, the Majorcan had decided to take two months off to recover from his foot injury by giving up Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.
The return of the 35-year-old from Manacor took place in Washington, where he succumbed to Lloyd Harris and pain in the third round. There Nadal realized that the foot problem was more serious than expected, so much so that he announced the forfeit in both Toronto and Cincinnati.
Rafa's 2021 therefore goes to the archive with two trophies raised, Barcelona and Rome, having had to save match points along the way in both cases.
Moya reveals Nadal's physical condition
Talking on Onda Cero, his coach Carlos Moya provided some additional details on Nadal's physical condition.
Moya said: "The truth is that Rafa hasn't been well at all for some time. On clay the pain is milder and can be managed better, but on concrete the situation has worsened significantly. The pain was too bad to continue playing.
It was a danger that we had considered, we knew that things could have turned out this way. Unfortunately, we will not see Rafa on the pitch again for the rest of this year. After talking to some specialists, they told us it was better to stop, rest your foot and recharge the batteries to get to 2022 in the best possible shape."
Given the number of points he would have had to defend, the Iberian could lose his place in the Top 10 by the end of 2021. We remind you that, in addition to the US Open, two Masters 1000s and the ATP Finals are still missing.