Will we see Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon?

Rafael Nadal of Spain announces during a press conference that he is withdrawing from the tournament due to a wrist injury on day six of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on May 27, 2016 in Paris, France. (May 26, 2016 - Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe)
Rafael Nadal of Spain announces during a press conference that he is withdrawing from the tournament due to a wrist injury on day six of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on May 27, 2016 in Paris, France. (May 26, 2016 – Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe)

THE MODERATOR: We’ll start with a statement.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, just, hello. I’m here to announce that I have to retire from the tournament because I have a problem in my wrist that I have had a couple of weeks. Every day that happens is stronger, and I arrived here with a little bit of pain but something that I think I was able to manage.

Every day was a little bit worse. We tried to do all the treatments possible. Every single day we spent a lot of hours here working so hard to try to play. Yesterday I played with an injection on the wrist with anesthetic, just to sleep my wrist, to play.

I could play, but the thing is yesterday night I start to feel more and more pain, and today in the morning I feel that I could not move much the wrist. So I came here, I did MRI, and I did echography.

Well, and the results are not positive. The real thing is not 100%, you know. It’s not broked, but if I keep playing gonna be broked next couple of days. Every day the image is a little bit worse.

It’s obvious that if it’s not Roland Garros I will probably not take risks on playing the first two days, but is the most important event of the year for me so we tried our best. We take risks yesterday. That’s why we played with anesthetic injection, so without feeling at all on the wrist.

But, you know, when I am coming to Roland Garros, I am coming — today I am coming thinking about winning the tournament. To win the tournament I need five more matches, and the doctor says that’s 100% impossible. That gonna be 100% broked. I cannot say in English because I don’t know exactly the name. Is I think is the sheath of the tendon.

So if I continue playing, then will be impossible to finish the tournament. Is no chance that I can even practice more today. That’s it. I have to take that very bad decision for me, but just that’s part of the life, part of my career, too.

I gonna keep going hard to recover as quick as possible and try to be back the next couple of years here having some more opportunities.

THE MODERATOR: Few more questions in English and switch to Spanish.

Q. I guess it’s the same pain you had before Monte-Carlo. You said it was going on maybe even before Melbourne. Is it the same injury you’re carrying?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. No, it’s another thing. Is not the same. I start to had that problem. I felt something against Sousa in Madrid. Next day in Madrid against Andy I played with mesotherapy to sleep a little bit the place and to have less pain, and worked because I could play.

Then that was Saturday. On Sunday I was in Barcelona. I traveled all the way to Barcelona to do all the tests, to check if I am able to play in Rome or not. So I went to Barcelona during Sunday in the morning. I spent all day there doing MRI and echography and all the tests, and the doctor told me that there is nothing really bad.

So I accept that, and I wanted to go to Rome and I went to Rome. I played only with anti-inflammatories. So I could play well. I played three matches and was okay.

But when I come back to Mallorca I felt a little bit more. And as I say before, when I arrived here, every day is worse. I cannot play with my forehand. That’s the real thing.

Q. How long will you be away from the tennis court? Do you think you’ll be fit for Wimbledon?
RAFAEL NADAL: We’re gonna work hard to be ready for Wimbledon. For the moment I need a couple of weeks with that, you know, with the immobilization.

Then we’re gonna do the treatment, and we hope the treatment works well. We expect to recover quick, to be ready for Wimbledon, no? But at this moment, you know, it’s not a moment to talk about that.

It’s just a moment to go day by day, to work hard. I hope to have a fast recovery.

Q. Is this an injury you anticipate might require surgery at some point? Have you talked to the doctor and he said that might be necessary at some point to recover?
RAFAEL NADAL: Not surgery at all at the moment. If I keep playing, yes.

Q. I just wanted to ask just to make sure. It’s your left?

Q. I think you had a wrist problem two years ago, as well, didn’t you?
RAFAEL NADAL: It was in the right.

Q. It was in the right. So this is completely new?

Q. How difficult is it to take given how hard you have worked to get fit after your other injury problems?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is not about an injury like the knee that don’t have — we couldn’t find solution. Is a solution for this, and not very long-term solution. So I hope and we hope that it gonna be quick.

But the real thing is today is one of the toughest press conference in my career, probably. You know, having to pull out of probably the tournament that I have — well, it’s obvious that the tournament that is more important, more important tournament in my career, and at the same time a tournament that I feel that if I am well I always have my chances.

I think I am working so hard and I worked so hard to recover the level, and I think I was there. I played the last month and a half at very high level competing against everybody, and I felt myself ready for this tournament.

But it happen what’s happen. The only thing that I can say is bad luck and that’s part of our life. At the same time, for nine times in my career I have been able to be healthy here and to win this tournament.

Now is a tough moment, but is not the end. I feel myself with the right motivation and the right energy to be back in Roland Garros the next couple of years, and I really hope to keep having my chances in the future.

At the same time, is a tournament that I love so much. I feel the love of the people not only in the crowd, I feel that the crowd is supporting me a lot, but at the same time during the whole tournament, no? The organization, all the people who work in the tournament, we always had a great relationship. I have a close relationship with a lot of people that works here.

So, for me, is a very tough moment because you expect and you wait for these two weeks for the whole year, and have to retire today is a very bad news for me.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. It might be easier for you. You were talking about the sheath.
RAFAEL NADAL: It’s not new. I have already said so, since Madrid in the match against Joao I felt this pain. But the pain was much lighter in Rome, and here it’s quite the opposite. It’s become worse and worse.

So there comes a time when I can’t hit the ball anymore. I can’t do this at all. I couldn’t hit a single ball. I played the match with anesthetics. I was ready to run the risk all the way to the limit, but there comes a time where you simply can’t go on.

I did all the tests that I needed, and I trust Angel fully. (Sound cutting out.) I think we have really reached the limit when we had pain. I could always move forward, but Angel always helped me to play to the limit. This time he says that I can’t play.

That is just the truth beyond the fact that I can’t do the forehand. Angel says he cannot inject anesthetics into my wrist for five more games. He says it’s impossible. I needed five more matches. But if my wrist cannot withstand five more matches, I simply cannot play.

It’s true that the sheath of the tendon is suffering. It’s a complex situation. Things have worsened. It’s really inflamed. A few days ago, the wrist was, say, X, and now it’s a fact. If I go on playing it’s going to break and it will mean months off the circuit.

In the current condition of my wrist it might just take a few weeks without moving. So I just need to face reality and stay calm. We have done everything we could. We have reached the end of our tether here in what was possible. We did everything that we could. Everything I was told to do, I did.

Unfortunately, that was not enough. You need to face the facts. We need to work. I’ll be back.

Q. I’m really sorry for you. I’m sorry for the tournament and for everyone. But you’ve had quite a few injuries in the past. You were unlucky in the past. Is this actually more serious? Are you more optimistic or less optimistic than you were, say, when you had other injuries?
RAFAEL NADAL: It’s not that serious. Everyone seems to think that it will take a couple of weeks, perhaps a month for things to improve, and the issue will be resolved. There is a solution. It’s not like when I had issues with my knee, because there we really couldn’t see the end of the tunnel here.

There is a diagnosis; there is a treatment; there is a time frame for immobilization. Of course medicine is not mathematics. You can’t merely rely on the dates that your treatment is supposed to end.

Maybe I’ll be three months off the circuit.

Q. So now in the French Open you took a number of risks because it was the French Open. Are you stop taking risks until you fully got over that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Taking the decision to withdraw, to retire from a competition such as this one, which is the most important in my career, to reach that decision you can imagine how tough it was.

So today I can tell you that I will not play before I have recovered entirely. But as I was saying, it’s not like I was saying it was a knee. If I hadn’t gotten over the knee — you know, a knee can last forever. But here it’s the wrist. And every time I hit the ball I can’t play. I can’t have pain every time I use a forehand.

And the pain is increasing, and I cannot play forehand at all. There’s no way I can play before I can use the forehand, you know.

Q. Mentally, of course, this injury is tough because it’s a special tournament for you. It’s also unfortunate because you were playing fantastically well, as you said in previous conferences.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, yes, of course it’s never good news. I would have preferred if this had been last year. We had done our homework. I was moving forward. I played at very high level for several weeks. Unfortunately, this has to stop now, but I certainly hope it will just be a brief incident and that I can fully recover.

The game that I have developed over the past few weeks when I have come back onto the circuit, when you’re on the right way, the right track, and you feel you have made efforts to achieve that, it’s true that when you need to retire it’s really tough.

These are not easy moments for an athlete, but there you are. Life goes on. The world isn’t going to stop. When I start training again, I will move forward and I will come back to the circuit for the rest of the season.

Q. You said that you were feeling less pain, you used anesthetics before?
RAFAEL NADAL: Only here. Not in Rome.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  1. Dear Rafa , so sorry re: your injury. Take it easy!!!!! Your health is very important. rest. I, have watched you play since you came on the scene. I have always liked your way of playing tennis! !!!!!! Keep up the tennis!!!!!! My’ prayers for your injury will get better and you will be even better player!!!!!!! Aletha

    My,email address , jewelfoster26@me.com
    God bless!!!!!H

  2. Here you are Margo … I was searching for this site to read your comments! You are certainly a Rafaholic for sure…again you made me laugh as I do exactly the same thing you do while watching a Rafa match. It’s not unusual for me to put a pillow over my head or have my heart beat out of my chest… When he misses a drop shot ..l I scream No No don’t do that… not now …trust me I’m a total a mess! He is the only player I will wake up for at 3am in the morning and I usually need a tranquilizer afterwards. When Rafa plays it’s never a walk in the park…more like a dual to the end ..a nail biting, jaw dropping match with unbelievable shot making that takes your breath away! When he wins I’m on cloud nine ..when he loses I’m really sad or horribly disappointed … When he s injured I’m totally bummed and can’t wait until his return. Rafa just has that effect on you… That is if you are a true Rafaholic! I have many of his matches stored so I can watch him when I need my Rafa fix! It’s good to see him relaxing with his girlfriend and friends on his beautiful yacht! Vamos Rafa …hope your wrist heals fast ..

    • Hiya Souix, You described perfectly my reactions when watching Rafa. I have to remember to breathe and not yell (too loudly). LOL
      Sorry 4 taking so long 2 respond but I had no internet, etc. Gggrrrtr

  3. Rafa’s doctor, Angel Cotorro, is quoted as saying that Rafa’s rehabilitation is coming along fine. Rafa is not playing Wimbledon in order to play Rio but because now is not the time for a tournamen such as Wimbledon. We have all discussed it and Rafa always wants to play but this injury requires a no.” He will return to tennis when his wrist is healed and the injury is overcome. I do feel at this time that he will be at Rio.”

  4. “Let’s forget about 2015”, Rafa said in January. 2016: r1 aussie open, r3 rg, dnp wimbledon. Just when we thought it could not get worse.

  5. Rafa’s Twitter account supplied a link to this message for his fans:
    “Hi everybody. I’m sad to announce that after talking to my doctors, and receiving the results of my last medical revision, I won’t be able to play at Wimbledon this year.
    As you can all imagine, it’s a very tough decision, but the injury I suffered at Roland Garros needs time to heal. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to join in the pre-tournament event at #TheBoodles at #Stokepark that I attended in previous years.
    Thank you all for your support, especially to my fans. Your kind messages mean so much to me.”

    Thank you Rafa!


    • Oh wow, that’s super cute from Del Potro! I Wish him all the best on his way back to the top! So nice to see him play now at Stuttgart.
      Good decision from Rafa and team. I’m really relieved after all we discussed some days ago. But, of course, at the same time I feel sad and somehow empty, as I will go to Wimbledon this year. Once again such a long time without seeing Rafa… sooo hard! But it’s worth to miss him for that he can come back only when the wrist has healed completely. Hope he will let us know a bit what he’s doing in the meantime.
      Always with you, champ!

      • Yes, very difficult without Rafa on tour. Sorry you will miss him at Wimbledon but hopefully you will catch some great matches.
        Rafa has returned very strong from past injuries. Remember 2013 when he returned from a knee injury and won the FO, the US Open and reached other finals. I am hoping for a repeat.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Thank you very much, Margo! I will think about all the great matches Rafa played there in the past, try to enjoy other matches and hope not to not be too sentimental. Maybe, at least I’ll see Roger…
        But a tournament it’s just not the same thrill without Rafa. I pray so much to see him again Basel, in October.

      • From what I have read, Rafa’s absence has affected not only his fans but his fellow players on the tour, tennis commenters and tournament people.

        The director of the FO planted kisses on Rafa’s cheeks and greeted him like a dear friend, both he and Rafa had huge boy-like smiles on their faces.

        I am not out here to win a “who suffers the most” medal by any means, but I think a Rafa fan probably suffers more than team fans. Teams will always be around but I am thrilled by one person only, Rafa. Personally, I think that is what makes it so much more difficult when Rafa misses a tourney. I checked my calenda today: it has been only two weeks since Rafa withdrew from RG. IT SEEMS LIKE FOREVER! On the other hand, I have been sooo lucky as a Rafa fan to have gone along with him on a thrilling joy ride through the years.

        He will be back.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • You’re welcome Fedallica. Rafa will be back to thrill us again. I will take him at his word that, “This is not the end.”

      • No, don’t you worry. It is a good point, Margo. I am sorry about moaning so much. I just urgently needed to finally share my lonely rafa- fan- feelings with people that care for him… this is why i came here.
        I can imagine that it must be even more sad for you when he is out.
        The man who brought me into tennis-addiction was indeed Roger Federer. We never had a sportsman like him in Switzerland (and will never have again;)). He was the one who got me deep into this fascination for tennis back in 2004 and he was the reason why I started to watch this sports.
        Yeah, I’m not a first hour Rafa-fan like most of you guys here. I always had roger, to support, too, but honestly, that does not really help me out in this situation when Rafa is out.
        Let me try to explain…

        My “problem” at the point when Rafa concered my heart was, that – at the level of sports-, an emotional thrill had started. All those finals between the two. … what a roller coaster- ride. (Rafa won more against Roger which should have made it easier to support Roger when they met- but it was not always that simple. I tried to relax during those finals but i could not.😂.. loved it and hated it at the same time when they met).

        These last years I’m somehow still on that ride but by trying to explain to all the (only-) Roger- fans around me why Rafa means so much to me and why i miss him so much when he’s not playing. Not many can understand. Oh my gosh did I had argues with only- roger fans… i sometimes needed to defended Rafa like a lion.😁.
        They both mean a lot to me, but in a different way…. When rafa plays, my heart races. When roger plays, I can enjoy. (not when he’s playing against players i do not like, of course ;)).
        It’s all weird, i know. But without Rafa, the thrill is not there. Besides fighting for every single point like it is a death-or alive- game, which impresses me, Rafa touches and inspires me as a person. He makes me suffer with him and makes me as a not-religious person pray that he is feeling happy, while my adoration for Roger is more about his game and play (his game is more like a dance than a sports for me).
        While Rafa touches my heart very deeply, Roger is like an ikon if the game. It’s not the same but yes, i do adore them both.

        hope i could explain a little my strange feelings. But i do not expect anyone to understand.🙈
        Btw sorry for this private conversation. Maybe there should be a possibility to excange mail adresses or something here.

      • So, so sorry Fedallica if I did not express myself clearly. In no way, shape or form was I criticizing you for expressing your feelings about Rafa. No way.
        You are a passionate Rafa fan as most of us here are so I do understand that. We all deal with missing Rafa in different ways. All valid.
        I do object, however, to the thankfully very few here who insult or berate other fans for their sincere, heart-felt posts. I don’t agree with every post about Rafa so at times I respond with my own opinion and, if possible, I include facts to buttress my opinion. Hopefully I will have done it in a respectful manner. I don’t remember if it was you or Maria who disagreed with a comment I made about Rafa. And the response made sense without being rude or “snarky.” LOL Is that even a word? Haha

        Rafa is the only one in my entire life who has me yelling for him to win a set, a point, a match. There were times during a match that I held my breath without realizing it until I needed to take a breath. Or yelling at him because he played the FO while injured. And I am not a yelling person.

        A fan site is just that; a place for fans to connect at one place and share their feelings about their athlete in common, Rafa.

        With a name like Fedallica I figured as much. No worries.

        No private stuff here otherwise we will get in trouble. Do you have a Twitter account?

      • Thanks so much for you reply. I’m not sure which post you mean but guess was not me who dissagreed…
        will write more another time, as I’m on my way to work now. Yes, I do have a re-activated twitter- account, (name is also Fedallica). 🤗 Would be nice to meet you there.

  6. Juan Martin DelPotro sent a message to Rafa’s fans:
    “Hugging to all Rafa fans that @RafaelNadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon 😯 Every DelPo fan can understand your feelings. DAMN WRIST INJURY”
    How sweet of him to empathize with Rafa’s fan.
    I was not surprised about Rafa’s withdrawal. I am soooo very happy that he is being careful. The wrist swelling and pain may have subsided but he has to be certain that it has healed. Micro-tears are hard to detect.


  7. Rafa withdraws from Wimbledon. He just posted on his FB page. Good decision. Hope he comes back strong to the US hard courts.

  8. I hope Rafa wont play in Wimbledon. And i hope he can play at the Olympics and he can do well there., because we all know how much it means too him. But at least it happened at Fo and not at Wimby again, because if the injury happens at wimby then he wont play at Olympics.
    I love tennis , i admit i am not as enthusiastic as i am when Rafa plays. And i am sure Rafa will play less and less, so i have to find other favorites as well. But eight now i cant even watch tennis because i dont like Novak and he wins everything. So i guess till Novak starts to play bad ,i cant watch tennis just when Rafa plays . :((

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