On Wednesday, Rafael Nadal and his doctor will make the trip to Paris in preparation for the French Open. It will begin the following week.
The player has suffered from injuries throughout the last couple of months. It has hampered his ability to get ready for a record-extending 14th Roland Garros title defense. During his match against Denis Shapovalov in the last 16 of the Italian Open, the Spaniard experienced an existing foot injury worsening.
“First thing that I need to do is to [not] have the pain to practice, that’s it… It’s true that during the French Open, Roland Garros, I’m going to have my doctor there with me. That sometimes helps because you can do things,”
Nadal said, “On the sunny and gloomy days, you need to stay and value everything that happened to me positively.
Nadal raced out to a commanding 6-1 lead in Italy against Shapovalov. He seemed to be well on his way to advancing quickly into the quarterfinals. The 35-year-old looked to have difficulty completing the third and appeared to be hampered for most of the second.
In the end, Shapovalov prevailed with scores of 1-6, 7-5, and 6-2. The Canadian will compete against Casper Ruud on Friday in the final eight rounds.
But Nadal’s chances of establishing a campaign for an unprecedented 14th French Open have been significantly diminished due to this setback. As the tennis legend strives to win his 22nd Grand Slam tournament, he will have a doctor in Roland-Garros.
“Unfortunately, my day-by-day is difficult, honestly,” Nadal said after the match, per CNN. “Even like this, I am trying hard. It can be frustrating that I can’t practice the proper way a lot of days.”
“I have a chronic injury which has no treatment,” Nadal said, “That’s part of my life, and that’s the downside of not being able to finish the match earlier. In the short term, I think I am fine. Physically speaking, but also, speaking about my feet, it has to adapt to the competition.”
Due to a foot injury, Nadal could not compete throughout the 2021 season. He was sidelined for five months until making his comeback in January. At this point, he won both the Melbourne Summer Set and the Australian Open.