The 2015 season was one of Rafael Nadal’s worst in terms of his Majors performance, failing to win the title for the first time since 2004. The Spaniard had some reliable results in the final events of the season, but that was not enough to more than three titles, hoping for a better execution in 2016. Fighting injuries, Rafa claimed titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona that year. However, he did not come close to his usual form, losing the Roland Garros crown for the second year in a row and missing Wimbledon due to injury. Returning to the Rio Olympics in August, the Spaniard won the men’s doubles gold medal with Marc López and took advantage of a favorable draw to advance to the singles semifinal. He suffered a heartbreaking loss to Juan Martín Del Potro after more than three hours and left Rio without an individual medal following a third-place loss to Kei Nishikori. Losing energy, Nadal left for Cincinnati without great hope, beating Pablo Cuevas in the second round to set up the clash against the young Borna Coric. An inspired Croatian defeated the Spaniard 6-1, 6-3 in 72 minutes in the third round, becoming the first U-20 player in the Masters 1000 quarter-finals since Juan Martín Del Potro in Paris 2008!
Moya opens up on Rafael Nadal
Carlos Moya revealed that given the nature of Rafael Nadal’s injury, the team decided that taking a break and returning refreshed for the 2022 season would be the best decision. “Rafa’s main goal is to recover sensations in the foot and in the head, because going in fits and starts throughout the year has not helped him,” Moya said. “He started with back pain in Australia, he has played only seven events this year. He missed Wimbledon, the Olympics and now the US Open and the Masters. That’s why we should not look at what is happening on the circuit and concentrate on him,” he added. “The best thing was to stop, rest the foot and refresh the head and ideas to do good training and arrive fresh to 2022. He has been in pain for months and there comes a time when he couldn’t take it anymore,” Moya added. “In the last match, he played practically lame.” Unfortunately, five-time champion Roger Federer, former champion Rafael Nadal and defending champion Dominic Thiem are not going to be seen this year due to their problems with injuries. Nonetheless, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic along with Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams will be headlining the event this season.