Rafael Nadal gives positive injury update after defeat to Lloyd Harris in Washington

Rafael Nadal plays a shot at Washington Open

Making an early exit from any tournament is never easy, but Rafael Nadal does have a few positives to take from his defeat against Lloyd Harris at the Washington Open.

Playing in his first tournament since losing in the semi-finals of the French Open in May, Nadal battled to a three-hour, three-set win over Jack Sock in the second round.

He featured in another three-setter against Harris on the third round, but this time he was on the losing end as the South Africa won 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in two hours and 11 minutes.

‘To beat a 20-time Grand Slam champion is very special,’ says ‘brave’ Lloyd Harris after Rafael Nadal win

Nadal arrived in Washington struggling with a foot injury, but he gave an update on the problem after his defeat.

“The most positive thing is my foot was better today than yesterday, so that’s the best news possible,” he said. “I played against a player that played well. For the moment, I think I played better than yesterday, but in the third when I had opportunities, the truth is his serve was huge and I played this last game really badly.”

Nadal will continue his comeback at the Cincinnati Masters next week and he knows he needs to keep improving, especially with the US Open starting at the end of the month.

“I was able to move a bit better, so that is very important, especially for me personally, to keep enjoying the sport and keep having energy, believing that important things are possible,” he said.

“And then I need to keep improving. It’s true. I honestly didn’t have two easy months. I had a lot of problems with my foot. I was not able to practise all the days that I really wanted, but I did as much as I could and I tried hard here.”