Rafael Nadal Australian Open 2021

‘I wish my foot would hurt a bit less,’ says returning Rafael Nadal


Rafael Nadal overcame Jack Sock in his opening round encounter at the Citi Open, though admitted his foot injury is still bothering him. 

The Spaniard came through a gruelling three hour encounter against the American, eventually prevailing 6-2 4-6 7-6(1) to progress to the second round.

However, the 20-time Grand Slam champion admitted he began to ‘suffer’ as the match went on, with his foot injury which ruled him out of Wimbledon and the Olympics still plaguing him.

“The match wasn’t easy,” admitted the Spaniard. I think I started well. Then I played a bad game in the second set.

“As the encounter progressed, I began to feel the pain in my foot and suffer a bit too much. Jack played well from the second set, and I could not damage him with my shots or break his aggression and initiative.

“It was tough, but I played better in the closing stages. That’s the most important thing, and I hope to be ready for tomorrow.

“My fitness is fine; I only wish my foot to hurt a bit less. You need matches like this to be fitter after a month without competing. That’s part of the process, and I know it very well after going through those stuff many times in my career.

“It’s not something I’m worried about. Winning these matches helps you to be better. If I improve the condition of my foot, I think the rest will come step by step.”

The top seed will now face South African Lloyd Harris as he continues his return from injury.

Rafael Nadal Australian Open 2021
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