Denis Shapovalov shocks Rafael Nadal in Rome

Defending champion at the ‘Internazionali BNL d’Italia’ tournament in Rome, Rafael Nadal, failed to reach the quarterfinals on Thursday, when no. 17 Canadian Denis Shapovalov defeated him in three sets 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 in 2 hours and 37 minutes.

Our champ raced through the first set and hit back from 4-1 down to 4-4 in the second but as the match wore on, his left foot was evidently bothering him more and more and Shapovalov took full advantage to reach the quarter-finals.

“I am living with an injury. My day by day is difficult,” Rafa said post-match. “I am trying hard but of course it’s difficult to accept the situation at times. A lot of days I can’t practise the proper way.

“Today it started halfway through the second set and it was unplayable for me. I don’t want to take away credit from Denis that he deserves… Today is for him.”

He later added: “I started playing the match much better… so I feel sad about that. A lot of positive things but when this happens the rest of the positive things disappear. It’s time to accept the situation and fight.”

Source: Tennis Majors, ATP Tour


  1. Gill Grss on YouTube gives an interesting analysis of Rafa’s foot issue past and present and its implications the implications for RG: “Nadal’s foot Flares Up in Rome Ahead of Roland Garros”.

  2. The bottom line is that Rafa never knows when his foot problem will flare up and that must be the most frustrating thing for him in any tournament. I’m not going to speculate about his immediate future either, but just hope….

    As Rafa says “I don’t know what can happen…..I am not injured, I am a player living with an injury.”

    On the positive side, if he manages to compete at RG, he will have a day’s rest in between matches. He also said that he would have his team of doctors with him, which may help in some way.

    After all is said and done, it’s just a waiting game for all of us. Positive thoughts go with you champ.

  3. Never give up, Rafa. There is still enough time to recover. Hope a healthy clay king at RG in late May. Vamos! ✌

  4. Dear Rafa, I watched the match last night in India. You played well, you always give your 100% on court. We as fans appreciate all the beautiful moments you give us . We will always treasure them. You are always in our prayers. All my love and positivity with you. Recover fast , stay healthy. Love you always 💓. The day you retire from tennis, I will completely stop watching tennis. My dream in life is to see you once in person, before I die. Love and God bless you.

  5. Do your best to prepare for French open I don’t think Rafa will have many chances to win it bcz of his deteriorating health… So sad that he had to bear this pain and still won so many titles…You will always be my all time sportsman no matter what
    I am sad but realistically I think Rafa and Roger will hang up their rackets next year…I hope and pray that it’s wrong

    • Is that your prognosis Dr:):)

      I’m sure that Rafa will only enter FO if he knows he has a chance to win it. I remember 2016(?) when he had to withdraw before a match at FO due to injury. Now that was my worst Rafa moment ever. I do not fancy another like that.

      Let’s believe in our champ and hope for the best!

      I’ll donate my foot to Rafa- Dr. Khawar you could perform the transplant:)

      • Mac literally I am crying although I am an anesthesiologist and don’t have much emotions but whenever Rafa was winning all then always this happens… I am tired to see his sad face but I want him to be the goat as well…but these injuries are taking a toll and he is getting old as well….let’s hope for the best. I will be the happiest man along with you all if he wins in his home phillipe chatrier
        Thank you for your kind response
        God bless you

  6. Rafa my heart breaks for you!!! Soo worried about your foot. When you lose it always makes me sad but when you lose due to a chronic injury it makes me worry and feel extremely sad.

    Of course I want you to play in the FO but first comes the foot.

    Very selfishly I hope you still want to continue to play tennis and not retire. But ….

    Now for positive thoughts! Get better and you will still have plenty of success.


  7. I honestly hope that Rafa reviews his choice of a tennis partnership in Hong Kong. When I first read that he was expanding to Hong Kong I thought the article had the wrong location. Sadly, I was wrong.

    Living in Hong Kong will become even more restrictive after the election of China’s approved candidate.

    Following is an excerpt from yesterday’s New York Times.

    “HONG KONG — The Hong Kong national security police arrested 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen, the most outspoken senior Roman Catholic cleric in Hong Kong and the city’s bishop emeritus, along with three other people Wednesday for their involvement in a humanitarian relief fund, according to lawyers involved in the case.”

  8. I checked Rafa’s biorhythm, particularly the emotional and physical levels.

    For comparison purposes, at the AO 2022 final, Medvedev’s emotional & physical were -100% and 63% respectively. Rafa’s were +90% & 94% respectively.

    As of yesterday Rafa’s reading were -90% & -100% emotionally and physically; so, go figure.

    As for the FO 2022: it will be the reverse of the AO 2022, Rafa will be sitting favourably at the beginning from 22 May to the 29th. Unfortunately, the rest of the Paris major to the 5th June, will be sitting on critical levels.

    Just to get context, in the United States biorhythms are consulted extensively at assembly lines of manufacturing companies. So staff are forced to go on leave when their reading is critical, to prevent manufacturing defects.

    For what it’s worth. …

    • Of course there are the spiritual and intellectual levels which trump emotional and physical levels.

      A glimmer of hope….

  9. Sharpolov was picking on his backhand, which puts enormous strain on that foot. He did not have luck as far as the draw was concerned.

  10. Its so sad to see Rafa lose and suffer with the foot injury . I was in total schock to see Dennis returning 90+% of Rafa’s first serves . I amvery concerned about Rafa playing Roland Garros and no longer sure he can win it . Of course. Rafa is a warrior and will make every effort and preparation but there are obstacles to overcome .

  11. So awful to see this injury cause Rafa so much pain. I can honestly say I’ve never seen him show pain on the court like he did today. Ever. And I’ve been watching him since he went pro. I hope his pain goes away. There simply must be something that can be done to help him in today’s day and age! However, it’s most important for him to recover and hopefully be able to play RG – and win! Vamos and prayers for healing Rafa!

  12. I had heard yesterday that Rafa was experiencing a lot of pain in his foot during his serve….
    There’s no question the foot is flaring up…
    Time to regroup, see what is necessary in order to prepare Rafa for the French if at all possible… a 5 setter event…ouch…
    My heart breaks for him… This rollercoaster he’s on is so hard on him physically, mentally, and emotionally….
    Do what’s best for your overall health Rafa!!

    Take care of you…💛

  13. Am devastated for Rafa that his foot issue caused problems. He was superb in the first set. I find the heading annoying” Shapolov shocked Rafa” Get it right please, injured Nadal was at a disadvantaged. I hope that he will be fit to play in RG. 🙏🙏

  14. First set was off the charts! Rafa was clicking! Then I guess his foot got the better of him in the second set and brought him down to earth… Kinda like me having a great day then I remember my overdraft!

    Rest, Rafa and come back strong whenever you feel like it champ. FO is really not necessary since you have nothing to prove there (except to stop a certain someone – but others will definitely take care of that in case you don’t show up), listen to your body and your doctors and make the best decision for your future.

    Sending much love to my champ Rafa! Get well soon sweetie!

  15. More good news – not. Just heard Rafa has now dropped to no 5 in the world as he was not able to defend his points. Plus due to this he is likely to meet novak at the quarter finals at RG. If he’s fit that’s not a problem but I worry about his match practice now. What will be will be and I’m sure Rafa will do his best. Still very sad though.

  16. Its became obvious that Rafa was in terrible pain during the third set. I wish he could have stopped playing before the end but that’s not Rafa.

    I am sure he and his team will make the best decision about Paris. I hope he can play the French Open and I also hope he can play Wimbledon.

    Best of Luck Rafa!

  17. It was really sad to see Rafa in distress like that in the third set. Even if he had won the second set and the match, I not sure if he would have been fit enough to continue in the tournament.
    I hope there is enough time for Rafa to rest and recover before RG, where the demands of best of five set matches will be even greater. I guess we just have to wait and see.

  18. Rafa, siento tu lesión, tener paciencia, a ver cómo te encuentras para Roland Garros, tu salud lo primero, lo que tenías que ganar ya lo has hecho, un saludo

  19. Poor poor Rafa – that was tough to watch when he couldn’t run for the balls. Will he be ok for the French Open? He will be gutted if not. Im so sad for him but hoping he sorts it out. Vamos.

  20. Take rest, Rafa. Regroup and prepare for Paris. All the best. 👏💪🤛👍🍀🎾❤️

  21. It’s hardly a shock for a player with an injury to lose. Rafa, ever the good sportsman, gave Denis a proper win rather than retiring. He said a while ago that he would need to take time off at some point to get further/repeated treatment on his foot. He had time off because of the rib injury – was anything done then? Nothing wrong at all with his level of tennis, first set was superb.

  22. I really think that the last injury was too much for Rafa🥲🥲 he looks tired and mental “broken”.

    Take some days off and than all the best for the French Open.

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