Major injury concerns for Rafael Nadal ahead of the French Open
Concerns are mounting for Rafael Nadal after he crashed out of the Italian Open amid a worrying performance against Denis Shapovalov.
Defending Rome champion Nadal was hampered by a foot injury as his bid for a record-extending 11th Italian Open crown was ended by a three-set defeat.
Nadal’s movement was severely compromised towards the end of this last-16 encounter in Rome by a chronic issue which the Spaniard feared as recently as December would end his glittering career.
With the French Open set to begin on May 22, doubts will increase over whether Nadal will even make it to Paris and, if he does, whether he can be competitive having just returned to action after a broken rib.
“I had my foot again with a lot of pain, and that’s it,” a forlorn Nadal said after a 1-6 7-5 6-2 defeat. “(The pain) is sometimes more, sometimes less. Today was crazy.
“I am not injured. I am a player living with an injury. That’s it. (This) is nothing new. It’s something that is there.
“Unfortunately my day-by-day is difficult, honestly. Even like this, I am trying hard. Of course, it’s difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes.
“What can happen in the next couple of days, I don’t know. What can happen in one week, I really don’t know now. It’s the time to accept the situation and fight. That’s it.”
There were few concerns for Nadal early on as he won the first set at a canter and then rallied from 4-1 down in the second to level at 4-4, but some uncharacteristic errors were creeping in.
Nadal saw off Shapovalov at the same stage of this tournament 12 months ago, saving two match points along the way having been a set and a break down, but this time it was the Canadian who rallied.
Nadal faltered in the 12th game of the second set as Shapovalov forced a decider, where it became increasingly apparent that the third seed was struggling physically.
Shapovalov won the last four games with minimal resistance to prevail in two hours and 38 minutes and the 13th seed can now look forward to a quarter-final clash against Norway’s Casper Ruud, seeded fifth.
Tennis365’s live scores and results centre: Follow the French Open here
Aaaaand it’s live! Follow the action from Roland Garros…
Miomir Kecmanovic feels clay could be a leveller against Daniil Medvedev
Kecmanovic started the year at 69 in the world and is now 31st.
French Open Day six: Djokovic and Nadal on track but British bid ends
Cameron Norrie was the last British player to fall in the singles competition, beaten in four sets by Karen Khachanov.
Irina-Camelia Begu cops biggest fine so far at 2022 French Open after ‘unacceptable’ incident
Irina-Camelia Begu lucky not to be disqualified, but not so lucky with the fine.
Rafael Nadal produces his ‘best match’ at 2022 French Open, up next Felix Auger-Aliassime and Uncle Toni
Rafael Nadal edges closer to potential Novak Djokovic showdown.
Novak Djokovic striving for perfection and more aggression after easing into Roland Garros fourth round
Novak Djokovic marches on at Roland Garros.
Belinda Bencic fumes at umpire over time violation during defeat to Leylah Fernandez at Roland Garros
It’s Leylah Fernandez v Amanda Anisimova up next at Roland Garros.
Exclusive – Why Carlos Alcaraz could be a hybrid of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Annabel Croft says Carlos Alcaraz has taken the best elements of Nadal, Djokovic and Federer to build his game.
Novak Djokovic ‘is back’ says John McEnroe as he makes world No 1 ‘very slight’ favourite for Roland Garros title
John McEnroe tipping Novak Djokovic to win the 2022 French Open.
Daniil Medvedev insists ‘if I can play Wimbledon I will be happy to be there, even without points’
Daniil Medvedev would jump at the chance to play at Wimbledon.