Rafael Nadal worries mount as coach explains cause of latest injury is unknown

Rafael Nadal announces end to 2021 season through injury

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Rafael Nadal’s coach has opened up about the left foot injury that caused the world No 3 to end his season early. The Spaniard announced on Friday (August 20) that he would be withdrawing from the upcoming US Open and taking the rest of the year to recover the injury that had already kept him out of Wimbledon and the Olympics. Carlos Moya, himself a former world No 1, admitted that while it was the best decision, they were still unsure on treatment.

Nadal had barely played since suffering a shock defeat to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of Roland Garros, later admitting he had picked up a left foot injury.

The Spaniard missed Wimbledon and the Olympics after the issue left him unable to play for 20 days, and returned to the tour in Washington.

After narrowly defeating Jack Sock in a tight three-set tussle, he was defeated by Lloyd Harris in an equally-close match and flew to Canada for the Toronto Masters, before withdrawing and flying home.

The four-time US Open champion initially said he would consult with his personal doctor before making a decision on the final Grand Slam of the year but later decided to cut his season short and only return in 2022.

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The 35-year-old followed rivals Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem in ending his season and pulling out of the final Grand Slam of the year as he shared a video to Instagram on Friday (August 20).

“Hello everyone, I wanted to inform you that unfortunately I have to end the 2021 season,” Nadal said.

“Honestly, I have been suffering a lot more than I should with my foot for a year and I need to take some time.

“Having discussed it with the team and family, this decision has been made and I believe that it is the way forward to try to recover and recover well.”

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His coach and former rival Carlos Moya has now given more details about what the world No 3 has been through with his injury.

The 1998 Roland Garros champion told El Transistor: “Rafa’s main goal is to recover sensations in the foot and in the head, because going in fits and starts throughout the year has not helped him.

“He started with back pain in Australia, he has played only seven events this year. He missed Wimbledon, the Olympics and now the US Open and the Masters.”

After being side-lined from a number of tournaments, his coach said ending the season was the best thing to fully focus on Nadal’s injury.

He continued: “That’s why we should not look at what is happening on the circuit and concentrate on him. The best thing was to stop, rest the foot and refresh the head and ideas to do good training and arrive fresh to 2022.”

Nadal’s team have been thrown by the injury, which has flared up on some occasions and been fine on others.

“There were days when he finished training with a limp and the next day he was fine,” Moya revealed.

“We don’t know where this injury is coming from. There is a diagnosis but it is not clear what the best treatment is.”

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