Toni Nadal believes Rafael Nadal’s wrist injury that forced the Spaniard to pull out of the French Open on Friday has come at the “worst moment” but is confident in his nephew’s will to recover soon.
A sombre-looking Nadal called a surprise press conference yesterday to announce that he was forced to retire from the tournament he has won a record nine times, due to a left wrist injury he picked up in Madrid three weeks ago.
The event had also lost Roger Federer just three days from kick-off as the Swiss was forced to withdraw due to a back injury.
Nadal, who was due to face Marcel Granollers in the third round today, had a blue brace wrapped around his wrist, and was at times fighting tears as he addressed reporters at Roland Garros.
@rolandgarros that is just so sad- sorry Rafa- get well fast please!!!— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) May 27, 2016
“Every day was a little bit worse. We tried to do all the treatments possible. Every single day we spent a lot of hours here working so hard to try to play. Yesterday I played with an injection on the wrist with anesthetic, just to sleep my wrist, to play,” said the Spanish lefty, who has had an injury-plagued career.
“The results are not positive. It’s not broken, but if I keep playing it’s gonna be broken (tendon will snap) in the next couple of days. Every day the (MRI) image is a little bit worse.
“To win the tournament I need five more matches, and the doctor says that’s 100 per cent impossible.”
Nadal has been recovering his form this season after a sub-par 2015 and came to Roland Garros with two clay titles won in Monte Carlo and Barcelona last month. The 29-year-old had cruised through his opening two rounds in Paris and was considered one of the main contenders for the Coupe des Mousquetaires this fortnight.
Nadal’s uncle and coach Toni lamented the unfortunate timing of the injury but is hoping his charge will be ready to compete again soon.
“It’s part of the sport. But yes, this setback has come at the worst moment,” said Toni.
“It’s a pity because Rafael was starting to get back to a good level, feeling competitive and this is the most important tournament of the year for us. Now, the most important thing is for him to recuperate completely and when he’s back, we can get to where we are right now.”
Nadal said he didn’t believe the injury was as serious as the knee problems that threatened his career.
“We’re gonna work hard to be ready for Wimbledon (starts June 27). For the moment I need a couple of weeks with the immobilisation. Then we’re gonna do the treatment, and we hope the treatment works well. We expect to recover quick, to be ready for Wimbledon.”