Rafael Nadal Indian Wells Masters 2022

Rafael Nadal reveals he is ‘living with an injury’ after defeat in Rome

Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal has stated he is “living with an injury” as he appeared badly hampered by a foot injury in his defeat to Denis Shapovalov in the last 16 of the Italian Open. 

Rafael Nadal was looking to reach his 100th Masters level quarter-final however despite being one set up, the Canadian fought back to win 1-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Nadal cruised through the first set, but was limping and grimacing by the end of the match as Shapovalov took charge and held his nerve to win the match, reversing the loss to the Spaniard at the same stage in Rome last year, when the Canadian failed to convert two match points.

It is Nadal’s earliest exit in Rome since 2008 and is the first time since 2004 that the ‘King of Clay’ will enter Roland Garros without at least one clay title to his name.

With another match hampered by injury, it raises concerns about the 21-time Grand Slam winner’s fitness for the upcoming French Open, which starts on May 22nd.

Speaking after the match, the 10-time Rome Open champion revealed he is “not injured” but in fact, faces a daily struggle to be fully fit and is something that he has to live with.

Rafael Nadal told reporters post-match, “I am not injured. I am living with an injury. My day by day is difficult.

“I am trying hard but of course it’s difficult to accept the situation at times. A lot of days I can’t practise the proper way.

“Today it started half way through the second set and it was unplayable for me. I don’t want to take away credit from Denis that he deserves…Today is for him.”

However the Spaniard still remains hopeful he will be fully fit ahead of Roland Garros later this month.

“Still the goal, in one week and a couple of days. I’ll still keep dreaming.

“Maybe in two days, things are better, the things that I have on my foot. It’s true that during Roland Garros I’m going to have my doctor with me – that sometimes helps.”

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