Rafael Nadal (ATP 4) has anything but flawless preparation for the grand slam tournament of Roland Garros. He also had to pack his bags early on Thursday evening at the Masters 1000 tournament in Rome (gravel / 5,415,410 euros). The eighth finals against Canadian Denis Shapovalov (ATP 16) turned out to be the end station.
Nadal won the first set convincingly 1-6, but Shapovalov straightened out 7-5 and 6-2 in the following sets. The Spanish clay king lost his level visibly in the last two sets, he had trouble moving. Nadal is suffering from a chronic foot injury that forced him to end his season in August last year.
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Shapovalov can now try to compete in the quarterfinals against the Norwegian Casper Ruud (ATP 10), who stopped the American Jenson Brooksby (ATP 38), the killer of David Goffin (ATP 48), in his match in the third round.
“A lot of pain again”
“I didn’t get hurt, I’m a player living with this injury. That’s not new. It’s there…”, said Nadal after the game.
The Spaniard has been struggling for years with Müller-Weiss disease, a complex foot defect characterized by chronic pain. In August last year, he had to end his season early due to severe pain.
At the beginning of this year, Nadal celebrated his return. At the Australian Open, he immediately captured his 21st Grand Slam title, a record. In March, the Spaniard reached the final in Indian Wells. A rib injury caused another period of inactivity until last week’s Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid. There Nadal was killed in the quarterfinals.
“Unfortunately, my daily life is difficult. Still I do my best. Of course, sometimes it’s hard for me to accept the situation. It’s frustrating sometimes when I can’t train normally for a few days,” Nadal said on Thursday. “Today it started to hurt again in the middle of the second set, it became unbearable.”