Confirming the earlier reports of Rafael Nadal’s latest injury being caused by an overload of schedule, his uncle and coach Toni Nadal has admitted that his nephew’s decision to carry on playing after the US Open backfired. The 14-time Grand Slam champion was forced to pull the plug on his 2016 season after a bone edema developed on his left wrist – the same wrist which was affected earlier this year, prompting him to remain out of the Tour for more than two months.
Because of this latest injury, the World No. 6 had to withdraw from the Swiss Indoors in Basel and the Paris Masters. He was also in contention for a berth at the prestigious ATP World Tour Finals being currently seventh in the race.
But appearing in any of them would not be pragmatic given how he had been playing with pain the last few weeks. Not being at 100% also saw him making a shock second round exit from the Shanghai Masters to World No. 31 Viktor Troicki in straight sets.
Under the circumstances, the best solution would be to stop and recover fully for the next season and that is exactly what Rafa and his team are looking forward to doing now.
Nadal was adamant to bring Spain an Olympic medal
In a recent interview with H25 Sports, Toni Nadal has acknowledged that Rafa was rushed into the Olympics despite not having made a full recovery because the 2008 Games singles gold medallist was determined to make it to Rio and bring home another medal. Rafa’s efforts were fruitful as he clinched the men’s doubles gold for Spain alongside Marc Lopez.
What went wrong was to continue playing after the US Open, the 55-year-old has confessed.
Instead of stopping right after the final Slam of the year, the Spaniard went on to honour his Davis Cup commitment and traveled all the way to New Delhi where he played a doubles match in the Spain vs India World Group play-off tie.
Following that, he played through the China swing, making it to the quarter-finals in Beijing before bowing out in Shanghai in the opening round which turned out to be a wake-up call for him. It was that particular loss that made him contemplate wrapping up his season. In China, he played four singles matches in the two tournaments combined besides four doubles matches at Beijing en route to winning the title there.
Clearly, it did him no good as the southpaw appeared to struggle a lot without having given himself a proper chance to heal up. Uncle Toni revealed that the team was simply ‘putting patches’ on Rafa’s wrist in those weeks before they decided it would be in the best interest of the nine-time French Open winner to fully stop and come back next year.
The former World No. 1 won two titles each in singles and doubles in 2016. He is expected to begin his 2017 season at the Brisbane International in January where the US Open champion Stan Wawrinka is also playing.