Former World No. 1 Mats Wilander is worried for Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal who announced his withdrawal from US Open due to a foot injury. Nadal has been on the sidelines for a long time nursing from his injuries and missed the Wimbledon, Olympics and many other events. However, he thought that he would be ready ahead of the US Open but now the Spaniard has decided to pull out of the US Open to focus on the treatment.
Nadal’s foot problem was sparked during his semifinals clash against Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros. After that, the Spaniard missed out on so many important events and only returned to action in Washington. There also he was not totally fit and was beaten by Llyod Harris in the third round.
Hearing that his current season is over due to the foot injury, Wilander is very worried for the Spaniard. He feels that Nadal’s days of winning Grand Slams and ATP events are numbered.
“I am very sad and very worried but I do think he [will] keep coming back until he no longer can,” Wilander told Eurosport. At the moment the will to play is still there. The era of winning may be over, but the era of filling stands with fans is still alive. There’s a couple more years of it.”
The seven-time Grand Slam winner points out how Nadal’s body is suffering from every ATP tour.
“We are getting used to expecting him to not be able to play. He is always trying and is always ready,” he said. He is trying but he just can’t do it and I guess with every year it seems like he’s playing less and less. He is getting older and his body is taking a beating.”
Nadal is currently tied with Djokovic and Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles. Out of which 13 titles were won by Nadal are Roland Garros. While Nadal’s body is not allowing him to be at his best shape, Wilander feels that no one can count him out at the Roland Garros even in future.
“It might be the end of winning Grand Slam tournaments, but with Rafa and Roland Garros and the love affair he has over there, you can never say it is the end of that relationship until the day he has hung his rackets on the wall,” the Swede concluded.