Rafael Nadal will miss the rest of the season and will miss the remainder of the 2021 season with a foot injury that required surgery last month, he announced Thursday.
The nine-time major winner has not played competitively since his US Open final loss to Juan Martin del Potro in early September. He withdrew from the 2017 French Open before the tournament started and the 2017 Australian Open when he was ranked number two. He announced at a press conference in Barcelona that he needed to have surgery to repair a significant fracture of the plantar fascia in his left foot.
The usually quiet tennis star reacted with a lengthy post to his official Instagram account.
A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafanaromanoffl) on Jul 27, 2017 at 6:32am PDT
“I am very sad to announce that after the surgery in New York, I will be unable to compete for the rest of the year,” he wrote. “I’ve now begun a new period of rehabilitation, and after every operation I’ve had, I’ve had to start a new program of treatment and recovery. This is also what I need to do this time.”
Nadal sustained the injury during the Italian Open in Rome in May. He won both of his matches at the tournament, including a victory over Roger Federer in the final.
“I’d like to thank all of you who have supported me and supported me through this difficult period,” he said. “I am deeply disappointed and sorry that I can’t compete this year at the biggest tennis events. I hope to be back on the court as soon as possible, thanks again.”
Nadal’s exit leaves the US Open without a strong favorite for the second consecutive year. He will still be eligible to play at that time but would need to be ranked the top player in the world in order to be seeded.