PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal retires hurt against Juan Martin del Potro at US Open

Rafael Nadal’s defence of his US Open title has come to an end this afternoon. The world No. 1 stopped play with Juan Martin del Potro leading 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, citing trouble with his right knee.

Rafa appeared to be having trouble with his right knee and even pointed to it while explaining to Del Potro his reason for retiring. He had it taped during the match and did not appear to be moving to the best of his abilities.

“I was just trying to see if something can improve during the match but no, it was not the day,” Rafa said after the match. “You can imagine it was very difficult for me to say goodbye before the match finished. But at some point, you have to take a position. And it was so difficult for me to keep playing at the same time that way — you know, having too much pain, and that was the tennis match at the end.”




  1. Sad, very sad but not totally unexpected. The signs were there and Rafa will hide and deny – the chances he loves to take are part of his competitive nature and love for the game. Still! It was Rafa who brought and stole the show; the grand finale being Rafa/Domi. I won’t watch another match; the show, for me, is now over:(

  2. Lo siento much Rafa pues no te lo mereces. Eres un campeón y solo espero que te recuperes pronto. Mucha suerte y descansa en Mallorca uno de mis destinos favoritos.

  3. Nothing compares to you Rafa,the rest of the day of tennis was so disappointing.
    I hope the Spirit of the Divine floods you with healing power!
    Go home and rest. Your match with Dominic was like a final.Awesome and incredible. Your fan forever🌸🐚💖

  4. Rafael and his team are no strangers to injury. We wish him all the best. No one will be more disappointed than RN. Watch attendance drop.

  5. Rafa so sorry you had to retire from the U.S. Open. I hope you get better soon. Please take care of yourself and the knee. rest it or work it to get it stronger what ever your health coach says. swimming will help it no pressure on it and it can move more freely and get well faster. Stay well Rafa and I hope to see you playing again before the season is over.
    love ya Rafa
    Arnicare is great for muscles and stops bruising and it’s all natural no steroids or anything all natural and it works like a charm . i use it for my soar muscles after working out. Try it and see how it works for you.

  6. Too much time on court took its toll. He’s going to need a better serve and to be even more aggressive and shorten points on hard courts to have success in the future. Such a fighter, all the best to Rafa as always.

  7. Rest Rafa. Take care of your health which is a precious commodity. Miss you. Go home to your beautiful island and enjoy the down time.


  8. So so sad. I m feeling very low and depressed. Dont know how long will it take for me to feel ok 😢😢😢

    • I’m really sorry to hear that. I hope you find your way soon enough.

      After Wimbledon I was a wreck for about a week; crying nearly every day! Seriously! And for another week after that, I still felt weary and depressed. And even now, I feel cold anger when I think of it.

      Maybe because this isn’t as bad as Wimbledon in my mind, I feel okay about it. I don’t think any player has defended a US Open title in a successive year in the open era; so it was always unlikely. It’s really normal for defending champions to lose. So maybe I set my expectations differently because of that fact.

      But I totally sympathise with your feelings.

      • Alex, yes, according to many, it is very difficult to defend a US Open title. But many of us knew Rafa could do it. Injuries be damned.

        The open era started in 1968 and one player was lucky enough to win back-to-back 2004-2008.

      • Alex, I just checked the US OPEN website for past champions and miss many other back-to-back winners [McEnroe, Sampras, and others]. But nothing like Rafa’s Roland Garros record 🤗

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Oh okay, I was completely uninformed, sorry XD
        Good for those who managed it. So sorry for Rafa that it wasn’t to be, this year.

      • Thanks for the kind words Alex! So reassuring to know there are people who understand this pain.

    • Haha it’ll take a year! Just kidding. It’ll take until Rafa’s next tournament where he wins again.

      It’s OK to feel like this my friend. We enjoy the good times, and suffer through the bad times with our champ.

      Rafa will be back soon putting smiles on our faces again.

      Get well Rafa!

  9. Rafa ,so sorry.You worked so hard and playedsowelli hope your knee heals completely get well Rafa we love you wining or lose vamossssssssssss champ get well 😅😂😂😂😂😂😘🎾👍❤️🇺🇸

  10. I am so sad for Rafa, but he plays so hard. He wiped away two tears at his presser, but he answered all the questions honestly. It is an honor to be a Rafan on the many good days and the couple of sad ones. Just rest your knees and come back only when you feel better. You are always a champion to us.

  11. This was never in the script for me. Not in a million years. To go out like this especially after the wonderful battle against Thiem… Very heartbreaking.

    So sad for Rafa, who was so prepared to defend his title.

    Anyway these things happen. And it’s nothing new to Rafa. What we do know is that our champ will bounce back much stronger like he always does. And he will accomplish greater things.

    Thanks everyone for the support. It’s been a great experience pulling for Rafa during his matches at this USO. On to the next tournament! Of course that is, when Rafa’s body is ready.

    Well played today, and Good luck to Delpo going forward in the final!

    • D’you know what, Mac? I’m not just saying this because now it’s happened, but I did have a feeling there might be an injury issue. Obviously there was the Khachanov match knee strapping. But I’ll tell you what really made me suspect: in his press after the Thiem match, Rafa seemed fairly resigned. He used a phrase which had also cropped up in Wimbledon press: “today was for me. . .” In Wimbledon, he’d said “Last time it was for me, today it was for him” in summary of his quarters win over Delpo, then semis loss to Novak. So when he said “today was for me. . .” in his US presser about Thiem, it felt like there was a second half to that sentence which Rafa did not expect to go in his favour. At best, like he felt things were down to chance. To me that indicates there had been concerns with his knee from early on.

  12. Siento mucho lo ocurrido…solo pido y deseo tu recuperacion..k harìa el tenis sin ti Rafa? …
    Lo k no m ha gustado d este torneo el ruido k hay…eso es desagradable y hoy ademàs ese grupito animando a Jn.Martin.. estamos en un GS no una copa Davis…
    Bueno lo importante eres tu y tu rodilla…te deseo lo mejor pero asegura tu recuperaciòn…SIEMPRE CONTIGO TE QUEREMOS!!!!!!!!!!

    • El grupito ese se creian que estaban en un juego de soccer. No se como lo permiten, El ruido esta bien para juegos de equipo, no para el tennis donde se necesita mucha concentracion. Anyway, la ovacion que le dio el publico a Rafa cuando salia de la cancha estuvo bestial. Me dio mucha alegria el apoyo hacia el campeon.

  13. And the next injurie. So sad for Rafa. Please take rest and take care of you. Always with you. Vamos Rafa <3

  14. Better to retire than cause further injury. All the best, Rafael. Do not despair-you fought long and hard.🙏❤️ Good luck with the rehab.

  15. Rafa. So sorry. You worked so hard and played so well. You faced the toughest opponents, no other player had tough opponents as you did. I hope your knee heals completely. God bless you Rafa. Love you. Marylynn

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