Rafael Nadal complained of breathing issues and chest pain during his defeat to Taylor Fritz at the Indian Wells summit clash on Sunday. Nadal lost 6-3, 7-6(5), handing the American his maiden Masters 1000 title.
The 21-time Major champion is doubly vaccinated against COVID-19, which many fans firmly believe is the sole cause of his ailments. Nadal briefly elaborated on his concerns during his press conference after Sunday's defeat.
"All the thing I can say is tough to breathe for me," Rafael Nadal admitted. "I don't know, I feel very, very -- when I try to breathe, it's painful and it's very uncomfortable."
Meanwhile, the Spaniard's confession of chest pain has fueled a raging discussion on Twitter. Scores of detractors, mostly Novak Djokovic fans, seemed hell-bent to place the blame on vaccines.
One fan wondered if Nadal's good friend, Bill Gates, who has actively invested in the production and distribution of vaccines, would have something to say on the matter.
Another Twitter user wondered if Gates would feel guilty about Nadal's issues since he witnessed the Spaniard suffering live.
Another fan openly lambasted the Spaniard for throwing Djokovic "under the bus" earlier this year, when he insisted that players must be vaccinated.
“The only thing that I can say is I believe in what the people who know about medicine say, and if the people say that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine," Nadal said during the Australian Open. "That’s my point of view."
Several fans firmly believe that Nadal's complaint of chest and breathing issues was entirely due to getting jabbed against COVID-19. They refused to believe that the Mallorcan's condition could simply be from overextension of a muscle or something related to his physical workload at the age of 35.
The series of tweets embedded below encapsulates the sentiment mentioned above.
"Poetic justice? Maybe Rafael Nadal shouldn't have disparaged Djokovic the GOAT" - Fans vocal in their criticism of the Spaniard
As mentioned earlier, Rafael Nadal had indirectly spoken out against Novak Djokovic's unwillingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
As one would expect, several of the Serb's fans felt vindicated at the Spaniard's misery and highlighted that on Twitter. One of them even labeled Nadal's ailment as "poetic justice."
One fan believes the 21-time Major champion is "suffering the consequences" of his decision to get jabbed.
One French fan called on Nadal to join forces with Djokovic and "denounce" the vaccines.
"All vaccinated, all screwed up!" the fan tweeted. "Nadal must join Djokovic and denounce these side effects! WE WANT THE TRUTH!"
However, one fan saw sense and hoped for Nadal's issues to be alleviated regardless of his misgivings towards vaccines.
Another Djokovic fan refused to blame the vaccines for Nadal's condition.
A physician gave his inputs on the Spaniard's ailment, saying that he was likely suffering from a "common" condition called pneumothorax.
Rafael Nadal has pulled out of this week's Miami Open that starts on Wednesday. The five-time finalist hasn't played at the event since 2017.