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Nadal Most Recent Player to Shut Down 2021 Tennis Season, Following Federer and Thiem

Rafael Nadal withdrew from the US Open and pulled the plug on his 2021 season due to a foot injury. EPA-EFE/DEAN LEWINS

By Ricky Dimon

Rafael Nadal announced on Friday that he will miss the U.S. Open and the remainder of the 2021 season because of the foot injury that has troubled him since Roland Garros.

After losing to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semifinals, Nadal missed Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. Although he made a debut appearance in Washington, D.C. in hopes of feeling well enough to play the hard-court swing, the foot remained a problem. The 35-year-old Spaniard managed to win opening match in D.C. against Jack Sock but then fell to Lloyd Harris.

After withdrawing from the Toronto Masters, Nadal returned home to get his foot examined. That led to a withdrawal from the Cincinnati Masters, at which point it was only a matter of time before the rest of 2021 was scrapped.

That time was Friday morning.

“I am very sorry to announce that I will not be able to keep playing tennis during the 2021 season,” Nadal told his fans. “But as you know I have been suffering too much with my foot for the past year. I have missed a lot of important events for me like the U.S. Open now, like Wimbledon, like the Olympics, and many other events that are so important and emotional for me.

“After coming back from Toronto, I took a couple of days to think about it. I needed to talk with my family, with my team and with my doctors especially to understand what is going on. But the foot is not the proper way today. During the past year I was not practicing and preparing myself the way that I need to to be competitive at the standards that I want to be, so we had to take that decision. But I am confident that I will recover 100 percent and I will be able to fight again for the most important things.

“The injury is nothing new. It is the same injury that I have had since 2005. In that moment, the doctors were very negative about my future career, but I was able to have a career that I never dreamed about. So I am confident that I will recover again the foot and if the foot is better, I am confident that my tennis and my mentality will be there again soon.

“The only thing you can be sure of is I am going to fight every single day to make that happen.”

Five-time US Open champion Roger Federer has ended his 2021 season due to a third surgery to his right knee. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL EDITORIAL USE ONLY

The 20-time Grand Slam champion compiled a 24-5 record in 2021 with titles in Barcelona and Rome. He joins Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem on the sidelines for the rest of this year. Federer was forced to undergo another knee surgery last week and Thiem has been dealing with a wrist injury since the grass-court swing.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.