Nadal uncertain about future

USA’s Frances Tiafoe reacts after defeated Spain’s Rafael Nadal during their 2022 US Open Tennis tournament men’s singles Round of 16 match against at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, on September 5, 2022.

September 8, 2022

New York (AFP) — Rafael Nadal admitted Monday that he wasn’t sure when he will return to action after Frances Tiafoe condemned him to his earliest US Open exit since 2016.

Four-time US champion Nadal, bidding for a 23rd Grand Slam title, lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the last-16 to 26th-ranked Tiafoe.

The American’s free-swinging performance conjured up 18 aces and 49 winners which flew past a sluggish Nadal on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

For Australian and French Open champion Nadal, it was a first Grand Slam loss of 2022 after an abdominal strain forced him to forfeit his Wimbledon semi-final.

The defeat ended a run of 16 successive Slams where the Spaniard had made at least the quarter-finals.

“I need to go back. I need to fix things. I don’t know when I going to come back,” Nadal told a press conference.

“I am going to try to be ready mentally. When I feel that I will be ready to compete again, I will be there.”

Nadal has endured a rollercoaster year.

His two Slam titles have taken him one clear of Novak Djokovic but his physical frailties have also returned to haunt him.

Nadal suffered a stress fracture of the ribs in March before requiring daily pain-killing injections in his left foot to see him through to a 14th French Open title in June.

Then his bid for a third Wimbledon crown was shattered by an abdominal injury.

Nadal is due to become a father for the first time in the coming weeks, which will factor heavily into his future on-court plans.

“Now I have to go home, I have more important things than tennis to attend to,” he said.


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