“Don’t Remember Ever Playing Without Pain”: Rafael Nadal Reveals Struggles With His Body

Published 03/04/2021, 6:00 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has opened up on the many injury episodes that he has had in his career and his experience of playing with pain.

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In an interview to a Portuguese publication, Nadal, who is the holder of an unprecedented 13 French Open titles, said that he can’t remember a single day in his playing career when he didn’t feel some manner of niggle or pain.

“Honestly, I don’t remember ever playing without pain,” said the Spaniard, who is currently at par with Roger Federer’s career haul of 20 Grand Slam titles.

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“Need to learn to live with it”: Rafael Nadal on playing with pain

The Spaniard added that injury management has become a part of his life now, as he feels more pain with every match and every tournament these days.

“You need to learn to live with it, as long as it doesn’t stop you from playing,” he said.

Nadal added that he has had to introduce minor changes to his training module and his game to cut down risks of injuries on the Tour.

Detailing how he has had to adapt to stay injury-free for the most part, Nadal said, “I changed routines, trained less hours than I would like, improved my serve and my positioning.”

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarterfinal match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

The Spaniard went into the Melbourne Park this year in the hope of lifting only his second Australian Open title.

Rafael Nadal lost a chance to go past Roger Federer’s career Grand Slam haul at Australian Open

While he seemed to be on track in the opening two sets of his quarterfinal clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Spaniard suffered an inexplicable mid-match slump to eventually go down in five sets.

The defeat saw him miss out on an opportunity to go past Federer in terms of career Grand Slam titles.

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He had earlier pulled out of the ATP Cup, citing back spasms and raising fears on his participation at the Australian Open.

Post his quarter-final exit from Melbourne Park, Nadal withdrew from the ongoing Rotterdam Open on account of an injury.

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The Spaniard clinched his 13th title at Roland-Garros, his happy hunting ground, last year and would be hoping to continue his marauding run on clay this year as well.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

850 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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