Novak Djokovic has pummeled Rafael Nadal’s physical issue remarks subsequent to losing to his long-term rival in the French Open quarter-final. The 13-time champion has been enduring an ongoing foot injury that left him doubting whether he might contend in Paris yet the world No 1 gave Nadal with a candid message conceding he saw no actual issues in their match.
Ahead of the 59th meeting with Djokovic, Nadal admitted it could be the “last match here in Roland Garros, in my tennis career.” The world No 5 has been dealing with a chronic foot injury since he was 19 that has appeared to worsen – seeing him miss the second half of the 2021 season before plaguing him again recently in Rome, where he limped off the court and doubted whether he’d recover in time for the the French Open.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion has been joined by his PCP in Paris to deal with the issue and showed up at his best against his long-term rival on Tuesday night, expelling the defending champ 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6(4) in a four-hour-and-12-minute long-distance race. Furthermore, Djokovic has now hammered the possibility that Nadal has been harmed as he conceded he was “not amazed” to see the Spaniard back to 100%.
“I didn’t see any problems,” he said of the 13-time champion’s physical state during the match. And the world No 1 threw in a salty remark as he added: “I am not surprised, it’s not the first time that he is injured and comes back pretty soon at 100 percent.”
Meanwhile, Nadal conceded he actually accepted he didn’t know whether he was playing his last match because of the flightiness of his Mueller-Weiss disorder. “I can’t say something else. I’m exceptionally clear about that. As I said, I am mature enough to not conceal things or come here and say a thing that I don’t accept,” he said, multiplying down on his potential retirement hint.
“I don’t know what can happen. I think as I said before, I’m gonna be playing this tournament because we are doing the things to be ready to play this tournament, but I don’t know what’s gonna happen after.”
Feeling a little wary about his future after the finish of the French Open, he proceeded: “I have what I have there in the foot, so on the off chance that we can’t find an improvement or a little arrangement on that, then, at that point, it’s turning out to be really challenging for me. So that is all there is to it.
“I’m simply partaking in each day that I get the opportunity to be here and without contemplating what can occur from now on. Obviously, I will continue to battle to track down an answer for that, yet for the second we haven’t. So [giving] myself an opportunity to play another semi-last here in Roland Garros is a great deal of energy for me.”