US Open: Rafael Nadal brings his season to an end

Rafael Nadal, who is suffering from a left foot injury, has announced that he will not play in the forthcoming US Open or for the rest of the season.

Rafael Nadal / Roland-Garros 2021©Nicolas Gouhier / FFT
 - Romain Vinot

Despite making a comeback in Washington, Rafael Nadal is still suffering from pain in his left foot and has been forced to bring his season to a premature close.

A logical announcement

After Roger Federer and, more recently, Dominic Thiem, it is now Rafael Nadal’s turn to announce that his 2021 season is over. Having reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros, the Majorcan took several months off the circuit in a bid to recover from the foot injury that has plagued him since 2005. Despite being back in action for the American leg of the tour, the current World No.4 was visibly weaker, and it was clear he was in pain during his match against Jack Sock then Lloyd Harris at the Citi Open. This pain led him to withdraw from the Toronto and Cincinnati tournaments, with the hope that he could still play in the US Open.

But his hopes were finally dashed, as the pain is just too crippling. Though the threat of having to put a premature end to his career has loomed for many years now, Rafa had thus far managed to keep any issues caused by his deformed scaphoid (a bone located in the centre of the foot), due to Muller-Weiss syndrome, under control.

But bravery and resilience are no longer enough. As he explained in a long message published on his Twitter account, it is time to look for new solutions. “Things did not work out as we’d hoped and it’s time to make a decision, to look for a different kind of treatment, to find a solution or at least improve the situation […] I’m convinced that with some rest and a lot of effort, I can do it,” he wrote.

“Continue enjoying this sport”

The winner of the US Open in 2019, Nadal was no doubt hoping to get back on form after a tricky season that has seen him miss a number of important events, including Wimbledon and the Olympics. Unable to train during these long periods off, he now knows that he needs to rest and carefully plan his schedule in order to come back fighting. To round off his message, the Spaniard wanted to thank and reassure his fans. “Thank you in advance for your support, your understanding and all of your kind words, which are very important to me, especially in difficult times like these. I promise that I will work hard to try to continue enjoying this sport a little longer,” he concluded.

Rafael Nadal, who has not yet given a date for his return to competition, can now fully focus on his recovery and on treating this injury.