Rafael Nadal is back after missing Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics with a previously unknown foot problem
Nadal will return to competition at the Citi Open on Wednesday night and make his debut in the hard-court tuneup tournament for the US Open.
And there’s no doubt that she’s the main attraction, of course — from front and center to the main stadium, which sits atop the words “it’s tennis” to the crowds attending its open practice session this weekend. A screaming Nadal shows up. .
The game begins on Monday with an event that fielded young Americans Sebastian Korda, Riley Opelka, Taylor Fritz, Jenson Brooksby and Maryland native Frances Tiafoe, as well as Nick Kyrgios, Jannik Sinner and Felix Auger-Aliasim. .
After losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the French Open on June 11, where Nadal is the 13-time champion, the 35-year-old Spaniard decided to take a break.
Or, as Nadal said during a video conference with reporters on Sunday, “my body decided.”
“If I had to choose, I would never miss Wimbledon and the Olympics. But I could not participate in these events after the clay-court season. I had some problem with my foot, so I had to stop playing tennis for about 20 days, not touching the racket for 20 days,” he said. “I started slowly, practiced for half an hour, then a little more. So I went through the whole process.”
Does he regret taking that whole time away from the tour, especially sitting out for a fortnight at the All England Club, where Djokovic pulled off a 20th Grand Slam singles title win alongside Nadal and Roger Federer as well?
Nadal said, ‘It’s the right thing to do. “The decision, I think, is the right one.”
Arriving in the nation’s capital for the first time allows Nadal to begin his preparations for the US Open a week in advance, which he usually does.
“It’s unbelievable that he came here to DC,” Tiafo said. “It’s wonderful to have a player of his caliber here.”
The last Grand Slam tournament of the year will begin the main-draw game in New York on August 30.
Nadal has won the championship four times at Flushing Meadows, most recently entering the tournament in 2019.
He was ruled out of the US Open a year ago when it was played with zero spectators amid the pandemic.
When Nadal returns there in less than a month, he will try to break the tie with Federer and Djokovic by becoming the first man to achieve 21 major trophies.
Work has started towards this goal.
“I don’t know how long it will take for everything to be fine, but all I can say is that I am here to do my best every single moment,” Nadal said. “I hope the practice of the last few days will help me become competitive enough for the first round.”
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