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Rafael Nadal's Agony: A Champion's Desperate Fight for Fitness

  • Post category:Tennis

Rafael Nadal's chances of entering the upcoming Roland Garros are low! The king of clay experienced another setback on the practice court on Wednesday, feeling the pain and concluding his training session. The king of clay is far from his best after nearly four months since the injury, already skipping eight tournaments and reducing his chances of changing that in Paris. Rafa could not compete at Roland Garros in 2003 and 2004. He debuted at his beloved Major in 2005 and stood among the favorites. The young gun toppled Roger Federer and Gaston Gaudio to lift the trophy and write history books.

Nadal has lost only three matches from 18 trips to Paris, lifting 14 titles and standing as the most dominant player at a single Major. Rafa has played every Roland Garros since 2005, and no one will be surprised if the streak ends in a couple of weeks. The Spaniard is far from his best after skipping almost four months of competition and still can not train injury-free. It's hard to imagine Nadal in grueling best-of-five encounters, even at his beloved Court Philippe-Chatrier. A left hip injury has kept Nadal off the court since the Australian Open, skipping eight tournaments and dropping out from the top-10 for the first time since April 2005. The Spaniard withdrew from the Rome Masters, extending his break from tennis and his nightmare.

Four months after an injury, Rafael Nadal still struggles to play injury-free. 

If the king of clay misses his beloved Major, he will have only 445 ATP points and leave the top-100 for the first time in 20 years! Nadal struggled with injuries in 2022 and still conquered the opening two Majors for the first time in a career. Rafa led the ATP Race and had a great chance to become world no. 1 by the end of the season. Instead, he experienced an abdominal tear at Wimbledon that ruined his progress. Nadal withdrew ahead of the semi-final clash with Nick Kyrgios, and we are yet to see him at that level again. Rafa has played only 13 matches since last August, never finding the rhythm and encountering more blows.

Nadal is still ranked in the top-20 thanks to those 2000 ATP points for the Roland Garros title, but that can all change in a couple of weeks. Rafa made a slow start to the current season and entered the Australian Open with no confidence after two United Cup losses. He experienced a severe hip injury against Mackenzie McDonald in the second round and lost the title in the worst way. The Spaniard revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas that should have kept him away from the court for two months. Instead, a 22-time Major champion is yet to recover, losing ground and experiencing one of the worst periods of his incredible career that threatens to end it. 

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