“I Do Not Know When I Will Play Again”: Rafael Nadal Announces Sorrowful News About His Return

Published 10/13/2021, 12:14 PM EDT
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 05: Rafael Nadal of Spain waves to the crowd after losing a match to Lloyd Harris of South Africa on Day 6 during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Tennis Center on August 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)


The 2021 season hasn’t turned out to be as fruitful as Rafael Nadal would’ve imagined it to be on the ATP tour. Even though the Spaniard managed to reach the second week in both the slams he played at (Australian Open and Roland Garros), he was outplayed by Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic in these tournaments, respectively.

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The European clay-court season took a heavy toll on Nadal’s body as he got injured during the French Open. As a result, the 20-time grand slam champion decided to take some time off and skipped the Tokyo Olympics and Wimbledon.

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When Nadal returned for the US hard-court season, he failed to make an impact as he lost to Lloyd Harris at the Citi Open and returned home for foot treatment. After the treatment, the Spaniard was on crutches for a while before the start of recovery.

As part of rehab, the Spaniard has slowly started practicing on-court. He was recently seen hitting a few lefty forehands in Mallorca.

Rafael Nadal raises uncertainty over ATP tour return

Just as fans were rejoicing over Nadal hitting balls on court, the Spaniard gave a rather discouraging update. He mentioned being back on the tennis court and following a rigorous schedule. However, the former World No.1 raised uncertainty over his return to tennis.

I want to recover from the injury to return in condition. I do not know when I will play again, I work a lot every day, I follow a specific plan, obviously with a marked roadmap and with very clear objectives”, Nadal said.

While the comeback is on, Nadal remains unclear of the obstacles he might have to endure during his return to the ATP tour next year.

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a forehand against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

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“There are things that I cannot control one hundred percent, but inside my head I am clear about what my objectives are and I trust that things will follow a positive course to be able to try to compete. I work a lot every day to try first, to recover, and second, when I am recovered, to be prepared to return to play in full condition”, continued the Spaniard.

“There are things that do not depend on me” – Nadal

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Nadal sounded apprehensive about the prospect of his return. However, that has been the case whenever he is in recovery mode. The Spaniard doesn’t like to raise hopes amongst the tennis fans immediately, as it’s evident that he isn’t close to performing at the highest level.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

I am in a process of recovery, of work, with a progressive increase in loads and the sensations are not measured daily. You have to be a little cautious, look a little in the medium term. Later there are things that do not depend on me, but I trust that what I am doing will give the result that we hope”, concluded Nadal with a positive remark.

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The sport needs stalwarts like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to make a strong comeback and enthrall fans as long as they can. But each year, young stars are breaking through at slams and are ready to give the ‘Big 3’ a tough fight.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

480 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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