Rafael Nadal announces end to 2021 season through injury
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Rafael Nadal has stepped up his recovery from injury as he returned to the practice courts. A fan, named danielwood_tennis_08, posted a clip on Instagram of the Spaniard smashing forehands at his acclaimed academy in Mallorca, a month after he told fans he had undergone surgery on his foot.
His coach Carlos Moya can be seen watching on in the background as he put Nadal through his paces.
Last month the 35-year-old posted a picture on his Instagram account on crutches and updated fans on his condition with some fans worried retirement may come early.
He wrote: “Hello everyone, I haven’t communicated with you through the networks for a while.
“I can tell you I was in Barcelona with my team and medical team to have a treatment to my foot which will need a few days of rest and some weeks out of action.
“I’m already home and starting the recovery. Thank you all for the support.”
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Despite winning just one match since June and ending his season, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has remained in the top ten throughout his injury problems, not only in 2021 but throughout his career.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion withdrew from Wimbledon and the Olympics, later revealing he had aggravated a left foot injury during the clay-court Grand Slam at the French Openis, and was looking to return during the North American hard court swing.
He then played the ATP 500 in Washington for the first time in his career, winning one tight three-setter and losing another, and travelled to Canada for the Toronto Masters before pulling out ahead of his opening match and flying home to consult with his personal doctor.
Last month Nadal achieved another piece of history, recording 6,000 consecutive days in the world’s top ten, having reached the upper echelons of the rankings on April 25, 2005.
It’s a monumental feat for any player, but especially given the injury woes the Spaniard has faced during his career.
Based on the news that he is back on the practice courts, fans will be expecting him to be at full health come the beginning of the 2022 season.
After announcing he would not play again this year, Nadal remained enthusiastic about the future.
“I am with the maximum enthusiasm and predisposition to do whatever it takes to recover the best possible form to keep competing for the things that really motivate me and the things that he’s done all these years,” he said.
While away from the court, Nadal excited fans by asking long-time rival and friend Roger Federer to team up with him in doubles at next year’s Laver Cup in London.
Sharing the official Laver Cup post announcing The O2 as next year’s host venue to his story, the 35-year-old wrote: “@rogerfederer doubles next year?”
The Laver Cup returned for its fourth edition in Boston’s TD Garden last month, which saw Team Europe retain the title in emphatic fashion, steamrolling Team World 14-1.
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