NADAL. Beaten by Shapovalov in Rome, the Spaniard mostly left the court injured and with many uncertainties a few days before Roland-Garros.
Thunderbolt in sight a few days before Roland-Garros? Eliminated early from the Masters 1000 in Rome by the Canadian Denis Shapovalov this Thursday, May 12, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal confided as he rarely does after the meeting. The 13-time Roland-Garros winner told reporters on site that he was forced to live with an injury, "sometimes unbearable. "I did not get injured, I am a player who lives with this injury. There's nothing new. It's here…"
For several months, the Spaniard has suffered from Muller-Weiss syndrome, which notably leads to necrosis of the navicular bone. This rare disease is incurable and Nadal had to end his 2021 season in August due to this syndrome. "Unfortunately, my daily life is difficult. Even like that, I do my best. Of course, sometimes I find it hard to accept the situation. It's frustrating sometimes when I can't train normally for several days. Today "Today (Thursday) it started (to hurt) again in the middle of the second set, and it became unbearable. It's a pain that comes and goes. Sometimes stronger, sometimes less."
A few days away from Roland-Garros, concern is growing for the former world number one and the fans. Asked about this, "Rafa" was worried. "I don't know how it will be in two days, in a week. I really don't know. Maybe it will get better. The most negative thing for me today is that I really felt like playing much better. I played much better at the start of the game. Even my training and warm-up was much better than the other day. I have to accept the situation and fight. I can't say more. I don't know not whether I have to rest or train. But I still have a goal in a week and a few days. I will dream about that goal. Today I couldn't play. But maybe in two days It will be better. At Roland-Garros, I will have my doctor with me. It can help."
Short biography of Rafael Nadal. Rafael Nadal was born on June 3, 1986 in Manacor, a town on the island of Majorca in Spain. Attracted very early by sport, in particular football and basketball, he discovered tennis and held a racket from the age of four where he benefited from the skills of his uncle Toni Nadal to teach him the discipline. Very quickly, Toni Nadal will transform his nephew into a real "monster of tennis", capable of winning the biggest trophies. He won his first competition at eight years old in the Balearic Islands.
When he was 14, the Spanish tennis federation asked him to leave his hometown of Manacor to join Barcelona to continue his progress with the aim of becoming a professional. But the Nadal family refuses to see little Rafael join Catalonia and the federation reduces the amount of its aid, which will be compensated by Rafael's father to meet the needs of his son. A true hope of Spanish tennis, the native of Manacor won the "Petits As" tournament in Tarbes in 2000, the unofficial World Championship for 13-14 year olds where he notably beat the Frenchman Richard Gasquet. He turned professional in 2001 after replacing Boris Becker in an exhibition in Mallorca against Pat Cash where 'Rafa' won against the then 36-year-old American.
Born right-handed, Rafael Nadal plays tennis with his left hand, his uncle having chosen to develop this aspect of his game to obtain a more powerful two-handed backhand. Known for his fair play and sportsmanship, Rafael Nadal is also renowned for being one of the most combative players on the circuit and an excellent defender who is difficult to overwhelm. His numerous routines during a match (meticulously placing his water bottles, touching his nose and then his hair at each point, etc.) are another characteristic of the character.
Since the beginning of his professional career in 2001, Rafael Nadal has won 91 titles, including 21 Grand Slams (2 Australian Open, 13 Roland-Garros, 2 Wimbledon and 4 US Open). Of 1258 professional matches played, the Majorcan won 1048.
Since his time on the professional circuit in 2001, Rafael Nadal has won nearly $130 million in prize money ($128,081,950m). His personal fortune is estimated at just over 200 million dollars, the Majorcan has invested his money in real estate markets or in his foundation to help underprivileged or disabled children by using sport as a means of integration.
The most successful player in the history of Roland-Garros, Rafael Nadal has a special relationship with the Parisian Grand Slam, which he has won thirteen times, including four times without losing a set (2008, 2010, 2017 and 2020). This tournament is special for the Mallorcan, so much so that he has his statue near the Porte d'Auteuil.
Sincerely moved, "Rafa" said: "It's something special and important for me. It's the most important tournament of my career. When I come here, I feel like home."
In the top 10 since 2005, Rafael Nadal became on March 3 the only player in history with 6,000 consecutive days spent in the top 10 places in the ATP rankings. A unique performance for the one who managed to dethrone Roger Federer to the rank of world No. 1, a place last occupied by the Spaniard on January 20, 2020.