In his press conference, Rafael Nadal said he had injured his hip but was unsure whether it was muscular or a joint and had been having issues over the past few days.
“Yeah, it’s hard for me. But let’s see. I mean, hopefully it’s nothing too bad. In the end [it] has been three positive weeks in terms of practice. So I really hope that [this] doesn’t put me out of the court for a long time, because then it’s tough to make all the recovery again. It’s not only the recovery. It’s all the amount of work that you need to put together to come back at a decent level.”
“It has been a couple of days like this, but nothing like today in that movement. I don’t know. We’re going to start talking about that now, but I don’t know what’s going on, if it’s muscle, if it’s [the] joint,” Rafa said. “I have history in the hip that I had issues. I had to do treatments in the past, address a little. Was not this amount of problem. Now I feel I cannot move.
“But I don’t know ’til I do the test and all this stuff, I don’t know. It’s difficult to make resolution if it’s a muscle, if it’s the joint, if it’s the cartilage. I don’t know. Yeah, that’s it.”
“I didn’t want to retire, to be defending champion here. I didn’t want to leave the court with a retirement. Better like this at the end. I lost. Nothing to say. Congratulate the opponent,” Rafa said. “That’s the sport at the same time. Just try your best till the end. Doesn’t matter the chances that you have. That’s the philosophy of the sport. That’s the essence of the sport by itself. I tried to follow that during all my tennis career, and I tried of course to not increase the damage, because I didn’t know what’s going on.”
However, in good news, Rafa is determined to get back on the court.
Considering the number of injuries among players, it is remarkable Rafa still fights as he does.
Regardless of age, the injuries are mounting. Milos Raonic expressed concern several seasons ago, calling for a revamped schedule, as tennis allows for little recovery or break time. The business of tennis is eager for economic recovery, but the list of injuries is a flashing caution.
The more successful you are, the less down time you have. While more tournaments and exhibitions are added to the calendar, consideration needs to be given to player health, both physical and mental.
I don’t know it for a fact but I think the AO made a decision a few years ago to speed up the courts because playing very long matches in Melbourne at this time of year was proving to be very gruelling for the players (especially over five sets) and uncomfortable for the spectators. Hot, humid conditions are draining for everyone. Rafa doesn’t enjoy playing in these conditions, not only because they take their toll on his physical well-being but also because the humidity significantly reduces the impact of his topspin. Rafa likes and plays at his best in dry heat, which is why he has always played well in Indian Wells, despite the fact that they play on hard courts there. Remember Rafa has never won Miami, which is also very humid. It seems the ball they now play with at the AO does not suit Rafa’s style of play either and we know he does not play at his best when the roof is closed. So everything was against him before he went on court for his second round match and the hip injury just put him over the edge. (I also suspect that Rafa has been pushing himself very hard in the last four weeks to try to be ready for this Major as the Defending Champion, perhaps too hard.) We shall have to wait and see the results of the scans but let’s hope it is not too serious.
All of this makes his win last year all the more impressive of course.
For those who wonder why Rafa seems to have lost his serve or say that he needs to work on his serve, Rafa reluctantly had to adapt his serve last year in order to prevent further injury to his abdomen, because if he had continued to serve ‘full tilt’ he would most certainly have aggravated the abdominal tear he sustained in June. He did what he had to do in order to play safely. If/when he has fully recovered he will be able to serve well again on a regular basis but not before.
At the age of 36, Rafa does need his best serve to beat his closest rivals but he dare not risk another abdominal tear because that would probably put him out of the game altogether. We need to be patient and sympathise with the predicament that he is in. [He probably returned to his old serve in the third set (and served well because of it) because, with his hip hurting him and being two sets down, he felt he had no choice if he was to stand any chance of winning the third set.] Rafa, as ever, the great warrior and, probably, the greatest we have ever seen on a tennis court. Certainly the greatest that I have ever seen and I have followed professional tennis closely for decades.
Let us hope that Rafa’s latest injury is not too serious, so that he can recover in time to play and enjoy a full clay court season.
Its actually a combination of slower night conditions and dead balls that have been his achilles heel over the years. According to Rafa and for some wierd reason the balls played faster and that is why it was not an issue for him at night since he was able to hit thru the court plus his spin (and pace) was potent. All i can say is i am incredibly grateful for last year. by the way rafa doesn’t have issues during the day. no matter how slow the balls are, daytime conditions are faster and he can play his normal game. what upsets me about australia is how the courts there seem to injure him. they are not as slick as the US open and that definitely is more stressful to his joints and movement and at this time, i will have zero regrets if this is his last AO. Let him focus on the other three slams for whatever time is left of his career.
Really Sad to watch Rafa lose and get injured at the same time . Mackenzie definetly looked the better from the outset and was poised and returned everything Rafa through at him and just outplayed Rafa . . I think the closed roof , the high humidity and the soft tennis balls on the hard indoor court surface contributed to Rafa’s lack of competitive game . He really does not play his best without his ball bouncing high with topspin .
Now Rafa should try to mend his injuries and prepare for the clay season especially Roland Garros.
I felt so bad for Rafa I was sohapoy to see him play and hope he can continue. He is a great player and great person! Get well
Hope the hip injury is not serious, and Rafa will have a speedy recovery. ❤️🩹 Rafa is truly a one of a kind champion win or lose. ⭐️ Will be cheering for you whenever you’re ready Rafa.❤️
I never had high hopes for Rafa at the AO. I was worried with his form at the United Cup. I am sad for myself since I see Rafa’s career coming to an end. Rafa will be fine with a wonderful life with his family. I will continue to watch tennis, but it will never be the same.
Feel so terrible about Rafa and his injury. Life is so unfair at times. I really think he could look into an overall healing process. Diet, tests for what food etc is good for him or not etc etc.
I really hope this is not a serious injury and that he can come back from it well.
He’s such a superb sportsman in every way. Of course he’s not going to stop playing if he can in any way go on.
Selfishly I hope he still plays after recovering well, overall in every way.
Rafa we’re all behind you. You can still make it to the top.
I trust that Rafa will make the best decision with his family and team about his 2023 season. He knows that Roland garros will be his most important focus in 2023 now.
Hoping Rafa will recover in time for the European clay season after not playing most of the clay season in 2022.
Rafa, wishing you a speedy and full recovery. Can’t wait to see you back on the tennis court when you are fit, healthy, and ready. It’s a gift to see you play at your best when you are ready to return. 💪❤️🍀🎾🎁
I am so glad that Rafa won his second Australian open in 2022 and his second career slam (all 4 majors twice), 14th French open title, and set the men’s all time grand slam record at 22 in 2022. Rafa also won the itf men’s champion award, espy award for men’s tennis, and atp fans favorite award in 2022. 🏆🏅😃🎾☀️❤️
Thanks for your post, Tammy!
All is not lost for our dear Rafa.
Rafa has achieved so much despite his challenging career with injuries.
I know Rafa will come back at a time that he feels is right. I truly believe that Rafa will continue to set new astonishing records in the future as CB long as his body and mind are strong.
As Rafa said, he is not thinking about retiring from the sport that he loves.
This is only a temporary setback and break for Rafa.
Tammy, thank you so much for such a beautiful post as it puts everything in perspective.
While this loss is painful and the hip injury is alarming, we can’t forget how much of a fighter Rafa is.
As long as Rafa believes he can continue to achieve great results and is determined to come back, who are we to say what he should or should not do?
As long as he is not thinking about retiring from the sport that he LOVES with all his heart, I think we can accept this temporary setback.
I just hope to see Rafa come back stronger, better, and healthier than ever!
Tammy, great post!
Rafa has achieved so much and knows what to do to come back.
It will be okay if Rafa takes as much time as he needs and wants to recover and rebuild.
I just hope he comes back in time for the 2023 French Open!
Without Rafa tennis will not be the same that is for sure.
Sad sad day but expected. I did not have high hopes for rafa. Even if he was not injured he would have lost that match. Nadal had a terrible draw, court was to fast for him and also he did not like the balls.
Thank god he won last year after suffering so much in the finals. Nadal came without any confidence to this tournament. Last year he won a preperation tournament this year he lost two matches. If nadal is so tired about being injured he should take a look at it why he is so much injured visit the best doctors in Spain do a analysis of his body do some bloodtest. Good be that he has vitamine or mineral shortage or perhaps he is allergic to certain things when it comes to food.
He has the best people working at his academy. I found nadal this year to be a little bit overweight compare to last year when he drop a few pounds. Nadal should fix his body before thinking about tennis. The tennis is there he just needs to be fit and healthy.
It would be a good thing if he makes changes about his game. How many times i mentioned his serve. Again nadal couldnt protect his serve and got broken a few times. He should work on his serve that will save him a lot of energy also play more serve and volley. He can not continue play long rallies with the young generation. Moreover he is playing less attack tennis and more defense tennis.
But unfortunatly I think nadal is not easy to coach which is understable because he had so many success doing the same. Nadal keeps doing the same over and over again.
thank god its not the foot
Wrong. He had to revamp his serve to protect his abdomen and that’s not an issue now since he was serving bigger than McKenzie on both first and second serves on average, but his placement was definitely off plus since the balls were slower this year it isn’t easy for him or anyone to start flattening out every shot. But incredibly he managed to hit the same number of winners and also won the majority of the 5-8 shot rallies. But his errors at key moments were his undoing. Be that as it may, nothing wrong with his style of play. It’s just that he needs to be physically ready.
I am struck by the sad ironies of Rafa’s situation. Rafa had to deal with his foot condition for his entire career. Since he had the ablation last June Rafa’s foot really isn’t an issue. So now its his hip. Just hoping it doesn’t end his career.
A much lesser irony is how well he served last night after the injury. Multiple aces. Did he have even one ace in the first two sets?
We’re all pulling you Rafa!
So very sad and worrying to see Rafa exit the AO in this way. What true sportsmanship to battle on and finish the match for the fans and to give his opponent the win. I’m not sure if it was the wisest thing to do, but that’s the nature of our champ.
Credit to McDonald who was the better player, but what concerns me is the extent of Rafa’s injury. He said that he’s had a hip issue before which needed treatment. It must be so frustrating to play under the cloud of an injury which could reccur at any time.
Body permitting, I think Rafa should focus on preparing for a slimmed down clay court season and skip the forthcoming hardcourt tournaments beforehand.
I believe that one of the possible explanations that Zverev might be correct that Nadal could retire after FO 2023 is that Zverev went to a fortune teller, the one that often locate next to the tattoo parlor and asked about his tennis future given that his horrific injury was caused against Nadal. She then also told him about Nadal future since they were linked by injuries.
HY RAFANS… Even i had zero expactation for this slam i am devastated with his new injury… We have all pray that it isn’t a serious injuri and he may be in court in 2-3 weeks… If it is a major injury i am afraid that he will retire…. I realy want him to play al least 1-2 years…. I will read news and hope his injury is not a major one… I never saw rafa so devastated and sad… Vomos Rafa!!! Vamos champ!!!!
I am very sad, I saw he wasn’t right in the beginning of the match. MAcenroe made ridiculous comments which annoyed me regarding Nadal. I kept saying looks like physically he cannot keep up, not once did the announcers say, maybe his injury or injuries are bothering him.
Nadal is not the type to announce what is hurting him before matches so now we find out it’s a hip injury.
He is such a warrior, it must be tough for him to think about retiring from tennis, even though he says he has no intention to do that. Very sad.
Meanwhile where are the Rafa fans on this thread? If you are a fan you comment. Not just when he is a winner. This man is tops whether winning or losing , let’s not forget that!!!!!
Rafa need to take magnesium
Get well soon Rafa❤️
It is very sad to see Rafa suffer yet another injury setback. First the foot, then the stress fracture in the ribs, followed by the abdominal tear and now the hip; all in the last year or so. Anyone else would probably have given up long ago. We all know that Rafa doesn’t want to do that but I am worried that, at the age of 36, his body can no longer support his indefatigable spirit, enormous skill and unique talent. I do hope I am wrong. Rafa needs to be fully fit to compete against the young guns, especially on these faster courts which deny him the time he needs to generate the incredible topspin his game depends upon.
I think when you are a Champion of that caliber it is always
difficult give up. Tennis is in Rafa’s DNA he has lived & breathed tennis since he was child. Rafa has had so many injuries his knees his foot have been with him throughput his career. He always used to have his knees taped up but you don’t see that anymore now it’s abdominal tears his hip the rib. Also we can’t forget the AO has always been tough for Rafa. There will never be another Champion like Rafa and its difficult to watch him go down. On the bright side he will always be a huge part of tennis & he has a beautiful post tennis life waiting for him!