After a challenging couple of seasons due to injuries, Rafael Nadal returned in his prime in 2017, winning two Major titles and returning to the ATP throne. Rafa returned to the top 4 in May and had remained in that group for more than four years. After a couple of injuries and ups and downs this season, Rafa could not maintain the position of the ranking since the beginning of the year, falling from the top 4 after losing positions to Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. On Monday, Nadal slipped to fifth place in the standings, his worst position since May 2017, allowing Alexander Zverev to get in front of him after the German’s Cincinnati title. Heading to Ohio with a terrible 0-6 score, Zverev went all the way to claim the fifth Masters 1000 crown and add 1000 points to his tally, doing enough to get ahead of the 20-time Grand Slam winner. Nadal will not have a chance to climb the rankings again in 2021, skipping the rest of the season with a foot injury that has plagued him since June. Rafa struggled in the fourth set of the Roland Garros semi-final against Novak Djokovic, lost that after more than four hours and stayed away from the practice court for three weeks. Nadal tried to bounce back and compete despite the pain, playing two games in Washington in early August before realizing there is no point continuing before returning to 100%, skipping the rest of the season and hoping for a good start in 2022.
Corretja speaks about Rafael Nadal
Alex Corretja, a former Spanish tennis player and an expert on Eurosport has cited the major concerns behind Rafael Nadal’s form. Nadal along with Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem will miss out on the rest of the 2021 season. Alex Corretja spoke of his form and resting period ahead of his absence for the remainder of the season. “What is concerning me a little bit is that he pulled out of Wimbledon, the Olympics and now the US Open. That means that maybe the injury is more serious than we expected, and I’m a little bit concerned for the future as well,” said Corretja on Eurosport as reported by Dan Quarrell. After expecting to make a strong comeback in the North American circuit, Nadal did not really live up to it. His body was not cooperating with him and he had to listen to his body. As a result of a long-term approach, Nadal decided to miss out on the remainder of 2021. “Since he pulled out of Toronto and Cincinnati we were wondering if he was going to be okay for the US Open. But if he is not 100 per cent and able to play and healthy, it’s normal that he takes a little while to recover,” said Corretja.