Thursday, May 26, 2022

Rafael Nadal to miss US Open, rest of 2021 season due to nagging foot injury

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With the 2021 US Open fast approaching, professional tennis has been hit with a string of withdrawals by notable competitors and some of the sport’s biggest stars. That unfortunate trend continued Friday, as the US Open and all remaining tournaments in 2021 will not feature Rafael Nadal.

On Friday, Nadal announced that he will not compete in the US Open and miss the rest of the 2021 season due to a chronic foot injury. Nadal has dealt with the foot injury since 2005 with great success, but the injury has severely hindered the 35-year old from Spain in the past year.

“The injury is nothing new. It is the same injury I am having since 2005,” Nadal said in a report by the Associated Press. “In that moment the doctors were very negative about my future career. But, honestly, I was able to have a career I was unable to ever dream about, so I am confident I will recover again.”

Nadal is just the latest prominent player to withdraw from the US Open, and the second of three players who currently hold the men’s record for Grand Slam singles titles. Roger Federer withdrew from the US Open last week due to a knee injury, while defending champion Dominic Thiem withdrew due to a wrist injury suffered earlier this year.

The misfortune of both Nadal and Federer is good news for Novak Djokovic, as he now stands alone in trying to claim the Grand Slam record. Entering the year’s final Grand Slam tournament, Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic were all tied for the record of 20 Grand Slam titles. Should Djokovic win in New York, he would gain sole possession of the record after victories at the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon earlier this year and become the first men’s player to win a calendar year Grand Slam in the Open Era.

Nadal’s 2021 season comes to an end with him having won two tournaments, winning at Barcelona and in Rome.

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