‘I’m suffering’ – ‘saddened’ Rafael Nadal reveals painful struggles endured in Indian Wells final loss
Rafael Nadal admitted his disappointment at losing the Indian Wells Masters final, saying he “wanted to make it perfect before the clay season” and revealed he felt as if there was a “needle” in his chest which impacted his breathing.
21-time Grand Slam legend Nadal’s winning start to the season finally came to an end in his Indian Wells final loss to Taylor Fritz.
Nadal had gone 20-0 having won the Melbourne Summer Set, the Australian Open and the Mexican Open, but his impressive run was ended by the American.
However, the Spaniard was heavily hampered by injury throughout the ‘Fifth Grand Slam.’ In the early stages, Nadal had been feeling pain in his foot, an injury which ruled him out for nearly six months at the end of last season.
He also sustained a pectoral injury in his semi-final win over Carlos Alcaraz. As such, Nadal revealed he was struggling to breathe as he slumped to defeat in the final.
Speaking to the press after his first defeat of the year, Nadal said “I tried my best during the last two weeks. Today it was not possible, but I had a good fight to the end I think, and I’m happy for that.
“It’s been a very emotional beginning to the season for me. It’s been a while since I had a chance to play here, and everyone knows it’s one of my favourite places, without a doubt, so I’m very happy to be back.
“I really enjoy it a lot every single day that I spend here at Indian Wells. Hopefully I can keep coming back for the next couple of years.
“Honestly, I wanted to make it perfect before clay. [It would] have been very, very, very beautiful.
“Honestly, I am sad because of the way I was not able to compete. It is tough to have these feelings, every day, but especially in the final is very, very ugly,” he shared.
“But, in sport it is not about talking of the past. We need to talk about today, and today is a difficult day for me.
“I had problems breathing. I don’t know if it is something on the rib, I don’t know yet. When I’m breathing, when I’m moving, it’s like a needle all the time inside here. I get dizzy a little bit because it’s painful. It’s a kind of pain that limits me a lot.
“It is not only about pain, I don’t feel very well because it affects my breathing. [I am] more than sad [about the breathing] than for the loss, something that I accepted immediately, and even before the match ended, it’s more about that I am suffering a little bit, honestly.”
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