What began as a dream start to the season for Rafa Nadal after a spectacular return after almost half a year in the dry dock due to his foot discomfort, It has ended up becoming a nightmare for the Balearic tennis player just before his great goal of the season: Roland Garros.
Nadal faced the start of the season with new energy but with many unknowns about how he would face his return to the circuit after this inactivity. However, the Spaniard was very solid during his participation in the ATP 250 in Melbourne, the Australian Open, where he made history with his 21st Grand Slam, and the Acapulco tournament, adding a total of 17 consecutive victories.
However in Indian Wells problems began for Nadal. In his semifinal match against Carlos Alcaraz Nadal suffered a crack in his ribs that hindered him in the final of the tournament against Taylor Fritz, ensuring that these discomforts caused him harm when breathing. For this reason Nadal decided to stop and give up competing in the Masters 1,000 in Monte Carlo and Miami and in the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
Nadal returned to competition at the Mutua Madrid Open to try to get in shape on clay before Roland Garros. However, the Spaniard, who admitted that he arrived in Madrid at half gas, paid for the lack of competition in his quarterfinal match against Carlos Alcaraz.
When Nadal seemed to be taking flight at the Masters 1,000 in Rome, the Spaniard was tortured again during his match against Denis Shapovalov by that chronic injury he suffers in his left foot, the Müller-Weiss syndrome, that already bothered him during the semifinal against Djokovic in the past Roland Garros and that forced him to give up much of the second half of the season last year. “I am a player who lives with an injury”assured Nadal himself at a press conference after his defeat in Rome where, despite this, he decided to continue playing until the end of the match.
The discomfort in the foot comes at the worst possible time for Nadal, since there are only 10 days left for the start of Roland Garros (May 22 – June 5) and the Balearic still does not know how to face these previous days in which he will have to rest to prevent the discomfort from getting worse without losing sight of his preparation to arrive in Paris in the best possible way in search of a new title at Roland Garros while defeating his rivals on the court… and his damned injury to his own body. At the moment Nadal’s dream at Roland Garros is complicated by his chronic foot injury.