Rafael Nadal has delivered an update on his fitness after crashing out of the Australian Open in only the second round at the hands of Mackenzie McDonald last week. The Spaniard was comfortably beaten by his American opponent and required a medical timeout afer suffering a hip strain while trailing in the second set in Melbourne.
He returned to the court to play on but his movement was clearly affected as McDonald took control to register a straight-sets victory over the 36-year-old, who saw his efforts to clinch a third Australian Open title go up in smoke as a result. Nadal has since offered an update via Twitter to confirm that he has been undergoing medical tests in Barcelona, with further examinations to follow over the next few weeks.
“Today I have been at the Tecknon Tennis Clinic in Barcelona where they have carried out some tests on me,” wrote Nadal. “The Melbourne results are confirmed and the deadlines remain the same. Established the treatments to follow and in three weeks they will perform new tests to see the evolution.”
Nadal has consistently struggled with a variety of injury problems in recent years and it seems as though his bad luck is set to continue for the foreseeable future after his latest setback in Melbourne. It remains to be seen whether he will be fit enough to play in the next Grand Slam of the year in May at Roland Garros, where he has dominated for the best part of the last two decades and will be desperate to retain the honours after beating Casper Ruud in last year’s final.
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The Manacor native’s fitness issues have sparked fears that he could be set to retire at some point in the not-too-distant future, although John McEnroe believes that there could still be some moments of glory to come for Nadal before he eventually decides to call time on his professional career.
“I don’t think he will play for long if he doesn’t think he can still win majors,” McEnroe recently told Eurosport. “It’s not for me to say when a player should retire, but let’s say this; Nadal won the Australian Open and the French Open last year.
“He was named as Player of the Year. That was only last year. The second half of the year, he had issues with injuries and became a father and I think his priorities shifted a little. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to play.
“He has pulled out of majors before. He pulled out of the US Open, he pulled out of Wimbledon and he has always found a way to get back to that level where he can win majors.
“From what I hear, he wants to play and God bless him if he does. He has been great for our game and we’ll have to wait and see.”
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