Tennis news 2021: Rafael Nadal, foot injury, season ended, US Open, withdrawal
Rafael Nadal has shocked tennis fans, revealing he is still struggling with a recurring injury that cut his season short.
Rafael Nadal has announced his withdrawal from the US Open and the remainder of the 2021 season due to a persistent foot injury.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion took to social media to explain his decision to get back in shape, adding that he was determined to return to the pitch to play in major tournaments.
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Nadal had only returned to the pitch earlier this month after withdrawing from Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics with a foot injury.
He lost his second game at the Citi Open in Washington to South African Lloyd Harris, before retiring from a hard-court tournament in Toronto with the same injury.
Nadal announced his decision to miss the rest of the season on Twitter in a long thread in Spanish, while addressing his fans on Instagram in Spanish and English.
“I am very sorry to announce that I will not be able to play tennis during the 2021 season,” the 35-year-old said on Instagram.
“But as you know, I have had too much pain in my foot for a year now.
“I have missed a lot of tournaments that are important to me like the US Open now, like Wimbledon, the Olympics and many other events that are so important and moving to me.
“After my return from Toronto, I took a few days to reflect, to talk with my family, with my team and with my doctor especially to understand what is going on.
“But the foot is not a good path today. Over the past year, I haven’t been able to train and prepare properly, to be competitive at the level I want to be.
“So we had to make this decision, but I am convinced that I will recover 100% and that I can fight again for the most important things.”
Nadal revealed it was a recurrence of the same foot injury he had handled throughout his career.
The world number 4 has said he is determined to keep his body healthy and return to his high Grand Slam standards.
“I am convinced that I will recover again. If the foot gets better, I have no doubts that my tennis and my mentality will be here soon, ”he said.
“The only thing you can be sure of (is) I’m going to fight every day to make this happen.”
“(There) are a few great years (of my career) left, I really think about it and I hope to see you soon.
“I want to thank all fans in advance for all posts, especially during these difficult times, all posts are helpful.
“Thanks for the support as always. Have no doubt that I will miss you very much, I will be back and coming back the right way.
Nadal has not played at the Grand Slam level since losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-final at Roland Garros.
He joins Roger Federer and defending champion Dominic Thiem as high-profile US Open withdrawals.
This is the second year in a row that neither Nadal nor Federer will play at the US Open.
This means that Novak Djokovic is the only member of tennis’ Big Three that will end at Flushing Meadows.
The world number one will make the major final of the year as a big favorite and finish his grand slam of the calendar, having won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year.
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