Rafael Nadal recalls: ‘It’s important to enjoy on the court, but..’

Rafael Nadal cracked the top-10 at the end of April 2005. Despite many ups and downs due to injuries, the Spaniard has never left the exclusive group, standing firmly inside it more than 17 years after his debut. Nadal endured a massive scare in 2015 and 2016, not playing at his best but remaining in the top-10. The Spaniard restored the order in 2017, conquering two Majors and becoming world no. 1 again. Despite minor issues and a reduced schedule, especially on hard court, Nadal did not think about severe injuries for a couple of years. That all changed in 2021 when the Spaniard started to feel the pain in his foot again.

Nadal barely finished the Roland Garros semi-final clash against Novak Djokovic and had to skip Wimbledon and the Olympic Games. Rafa started all over in July, and he wanted to test his foot in Washington ahead of Toronto. Nadal made a surprising decision and took the Washington wild card for his debut in the American capital. Playing for the first time in two months, Rafa took down Jack Sock in the decisive tie break after over three hours. Rafa struggled with evident pain but refused to surrender until the end, giving his best and advancing into the third round.

Rafael Nadal skipped the last year’s Toronto, Cincinnati.

Admitting he felt the pain, Nadal still wanted to step on the court against Lloyd Harris a day later. The Spaniard felt a bit better but fell 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 after two hours and ten minutes. Rafa felt less pain than the previous night but could not cross the finish line first following a late break he suffered in the decider. Listening to his body, Nadal decided to withdraw from Toronto and Cincinnati, return home to Spain and see the doctors ahead of his US Open decision.

“I have had troubles for a couple of months. It’s not ideal after everything I have achieved in Canada; we had to skip the event last year, and I can not compete this week. It was a tough decision, but that’s how things stand. The most important for me is to enjoy tennis. That’s not possible at the moment due to the pain, and I can not achieve things that I came for to Canada,” Rafael Nadal said.