Many have asked if Roger Federer will ever win another major, but what about another 20-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal?
On August 20th, Nadal shared a post on his Instagram page, saying, “I am very sorry to announce that I will not be able to keep playing tennis during the 2021 season.”
His rare foot injury is known as “Müller-Weiss Syndrome,” a rare foot condition where one of the bones in the foot is “dead,” as referred to by orthopedic surgeon Gilbert Versier. He goes on to say that “It generally affects people who have flat feet. It is congenital. Some have hollow feet: the arch, that is to say, the distance between the internal part of the foot and the ground, is very deep.”
Nadal’s last tournament was the Citi Open in Washington D.C., where he was defeated in the third round by South Africa’s Lloyd Harris. Nadal failed to reach the final of a major this year, but he only played in the Australian Open and the French Open due to ending his season in August. It’s fair to say that with the young up-and-comers and Nadal getting older, the French Open is probably the only major he would have a chance to win. But even that will get tougher as the years go on. Stefanos Tsitsipas has looked really well on clay, Casper Rudd is tough and, Alexander Zverev made the semi-finals this year in 2021. And it’s looking like Novak Djokovic wants to continue to avenge some of those losses at the French Open to Rafa and continue winning on the surface.
Recently, Nadal broke Jimmy Connors record for consecutive years in the top 10 with 17.
17 straight seasons in the year-end top 10
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) November 22, 2021
Nadal’s first matches back will come next month at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi. He will try to get a few matches under his belt before competing in the Australian Open, the first grand slam of the calendar year. Can Nadal win another major? It’s possible sure, but it will be anything but one-way traffic heading into the 2022 ATP season.