'I Was On Crutches After 2022 Roland Garros': Nadal's Lifts Lid On Persistent Foot Injury

'I Was On Crutches After 2022 Roland Garros': Nadal's Lifts Lid On Persistent Foot Injury

by Nurein Ahmed

History will remember Rafael Nadal as the man who won a mind-boggling 14th Roland Garros title in 2022, but the man himself has a more compelling story to tell apart from winning.

Nadal has always been a man of resilience throughout his career, with his knack of fighting for every point like it is his last. Time and again, when his back is against the wall, the legendary Spaniard has found a way.

There has not been a single player who has dominated a Grand Slam tournament in singles competition quite like Nadal has at Roland Garros. His incredible 112-3 record serves as a reminder of how superhuman he is when he walks on Philippe Chatrier.

But for all of Nadal's success and record numbers at the clay Slam, the 2022 triumph took every ounce of energy and probably the last bit of good health he had for the remainder of his career.

He overcame a stubborn Felix AugerAliassime in five sets in the round of 16 before knocking out Novak Djokovic in the match of the tournament in the quarterfinal.

Nadal had never been more vulnerable at Roland Garros since tiptoeing his way into his debut back in 2005 than he was in 2022. He had his poorest build-up going to the tournament with a 3-2 record in tournaments in Madrid and Rome.

Yet, on the final Sunday, he was the last man standing, trouncing Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0. On the eve of his opening match at the 2024 Barcelona Open, where he was marking his comeback from hip injury, the 37-year-old revealed that he couldn't walk at the end of the tournament.

"The day after Roland Garros (2022), I have been on crutches. So, that's the truth. I don't have to remember, but the way that I played that Roland Garros, I had a lot of issues and difficulties. That's part of life."

"In 2022, I wasn't able to think about how long it would take me to be back in a clay-court tournament. Without a doubt I was enjoying the title of Roland Garros and trying to be ready for the next event."


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