Rafael Nadal casts doubt on his future after his Round of 16 exit from the US Open

6 September, 2022

Despite being 36 years old and dominating the world of Tennis for nearly two decades now, Rafael Nadal continues to be his own biggest critic. His struggles with injuries aside, this year has proven to be quite fruitful for the Spaniard.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner has especially enjoyed success in Grand Slams and his Round of 16 US Open defeat at the hands of USA’s Frances Tiafoe was his first loss in a Grand Slam this year. He had earlier won the Australian Open and the French Open before pulling out of the Wimbledon semi-final due to an injury.

However, staying true to his nature of resilience and commitment, Nadal wasn’t ready to find excuses after suffering a 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6 at the hands of Tiafoe. That loss obviously ended his strong run of 16 consecutive Slams where the Spaniard had reached at least the quarter-finals of the event.

“I need to go back. I need to fix things. I don’t know when I going to come back. I going to try to be ready mentally. When I feel that I will be ready to compete again, I will be there,” he added.

While Nadal’s Grand Slam successes have taken him one clear of Novak Djokovic at the top of the perch, he has also been haunted by several injuries and physical problems throughout the rollercoaster of a year.
The Spaniard suffered a stress fracture of the ribs in March before requiring daily pain-killing injections in his left foot to see him through to a 14th French Open title in June. His hopes of adding another Wimbledon title to his trophy cabinet were left shattered following an abdominal injury.

As a result of all of this, priorities have shifted in the life of Nadal, who is set to become a father for the first time in the coming weeks. It goes without saying that his family will feature heavily in his plans on whether he wants to return to the court.

“Now I have to go home, I have more important things than tennis to attend to,” he said.
“Decisions will be made based on how everything goes in my personal life, which comes before my professional life. It’s been a bit difficult for a few months but I want to finish the year with something very important that is my first child.”

If nothing dramatic happens, the king of clay should be back in action at the Laver Cup in London which begins on 23rd September. He has also qualified for the ATP Tour Finals which is set to be held in Turin in November.