Rafael Nadal has announced that he will not be able to return to action this season due to a chronic foot injury. The Spaniard will join the likes of Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem in skipping the US Open this year.
Nadal took to social media to inform his fans of his decision. In a video on Instagram, the Spaniard said he has been "suffering" more than usual with a foot problem over the last year.
"Hello everyone, I am very sorry to announce that I won't be able to keep playing tennis in 2021 season but as you know I have been suffering too much from my foot in the last year," Nadal said. "I missed a lot of important events for me like the US Open now, Wimbledon, the Olympics and many other events that are so important and emotional for me."
Nadal seemingly aggravated his foot problem during his semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier this year. The Spaniard recently claimed he could not set foot on the court for 20 days after his loss to the Serb as he needed to rest his body.
Nadal then pulled out of Wimbledon as well as the Tokyo Olympics. The 20-time Major champion returned to action at the Citi Open in Washington, but he was visibly bothered by foot issues during his matches against Jack Sock and Lloyd Harris.
The injury then forced Nadal to pull out of the National Bank Open as well as the Cincinnati Masters.
In his video statement, Nadal revealed that he consulted with his family, team, and doctors upon returning to Spain before deciding to end his season.
"After coming back from Toronto I take a couple of days to think about it because I need to talk with my family, with my team and with my doctor especially to understand what's going on," added Rafael Nadal.
Nadal then shed some light on his injury, explaining how the pain has not allowed him to practice and compete at the level he would like to.
"The foot is not the proper way and during the last year I was not able to practice and prepare myself the way that I need to, to be competitive at the standards that I want to be," revealed the Spaniard.
However, the Mallorcan is confident of making a full recovery.
"So we had to take that decision but I am confident that I will recover 100% and I will be able to fight again for the most important things," Nadal said.
"It's the same injury that I am having since 2005" - Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal has been battling the Müller-Weiss Syndrome since 2005. The Müller-Weiss Syndrome is a rare bone disease in which progressive fragmentation of the bone in the foot causes immense pain and leads to deformity.
Nadal, however, played down the significance of the problem. He pointed out that he has achieved so much success in tennis despite his injury, even though doctors feared he could never have a professional career. As such, Nadal remains hopeful of returning to full fitness once again.
"The injury is nothing, it's the same that I am having since 2005," Nadal said. "That moment the doctors were very negative about my future career. But I was able to have a career that I never dreamed about so now I am confident to recover again the foot. If my foot is better I am confident that my tennis and mentality will be there again soon. So the thing you can be sure of is I'm gonna fight every single day to make that happen."