Rafael Nadal has shared an update on the injury that ended his Australian Open title defense in the second round.
The World No. 2 sustained a hip strain while trailing by a set against McDonald last week, which necessitated a medical timeout. Nadal returned to court soon after, but was clearly hindered in his movements. He eventually crashed out in straight sets as his title defense ended in a whimper.
The 36-year-old undertook some medical tests after his exit, which diagnosed him with a grade 2 injury and 6-8 weeks of recovery. He has now shared an update on the same, tweeting that there will be more tests in three weeks' time to determine the 'evolution' of the injury.
For the moment, however, the 22-time Grand Slam champion has revealed that the previous recovery timeline is confirmed. Nadal tweeted (as translated from Spanish):
"Today I have been at the Tecknon Tennis Clinic in Barcelona where they have carried out some tests on me. The Melbourne results are confirmed and the deadlines remain the same. Established the treatments to follow and in 3 weeks they will perform new tests to see the evolution."
The 22-time Major winner has struggled since sustaining an abdominal tear at Wimbledon last year. Nadal has gone 5-8 since then, including three losses in four matches this year.
Rafael Nadal rivalry keeps me going: Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic share a rivalry for the ages. The two have clashed a record 59 times, with Djokovic narrowly leading 30-29.
Nadal (22) and Djokovic (21) are the two most successful players in men's Grand Slam history. With Nadal losing early at Melbourne Park, Djokovic has moved to within two wins of a record-equalling 22nd Major triumph.
The Serb, hindered by an injury in the build-up to the first Grand Slam of the year, has been in imperious form at Melbourne Park, especially in the last two rounds. On Wednesday, he beat Andrey Rublev for the loss of just seven games to reach his tenth Australian Open semifinal. Djokovic is a perfect 9-0 in last-four matches at the tournament.
After the win, Djokovic said that his rivalry with Rafael Nadal keeps him going:
“It does keep me going, of course. I'm trying to balance things out between the professional goals that I have and it's always high school for me, you know, trying to reach another title."
The Serb added:
“It's amazing. I mean, it feels like that every match is a historic match at this moment, particularly for Rafa and myself. I think we are very privileged to be in this position, both him and I pushing each other to the limit to see how far one or the other can go."
Djokovic will return to World No. 1 if he wins the title this week.
What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here