There was no special press conference on Sunday night in Roland Garros, as the rumor had been circulating all weekend, spreading rumors of a possible retirement announcement in the bays of the Philippe-Chatrier court. by Rafael Nadal. It was just the winner’s press conference, and if Nadal was right there, it was to detail the underside of his fourteenth title in Paris, the 22nd of his Grand Slam career.
In the face of international media issues, which we transcribe here, Rafael Nadal has admitted to having suffered pain throughout his left foot tournament throughout the tournament. After his match against Frenchman Corentin Moutet in the second round, he was even “unable to walk”.
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Rafael Nadal revealed last year that he had suffered from Müller-Weiss Syndrome as a teenager, which causes necrosis of the navicular bone, a particularly strategic “piece” of the foot puzzle. Sports physician Walter O. Frey compared in the Blick romand Nadal’s problem to a stone bridge whose keystone would be about to break, the pain in addition.
For the general public, this problem came to light last May 13 at the Rome tournament where, visibly overwhelmed, Nadal had been eliminated in the round of 16 by Denis Shapovalov. In Paris, he was constantly monitored by the doctor of the Spanish Tennis Federation, Dr. Angel Ruiz-Cotorro. “We’ll talk about it after the tournament and you’ll understand,” Nadal said earlier in the second week. On Sunday night, the Musketeers’ Cup at his side, the time had come.
Are your last two titles, in Melbourne in January and here at Roland Garros, the most unexpected of your career, given all that has happened?
This is not the day to talk about the past, today is the day to talk about Roland Garros. For me, having this trophy by my side once again means it all and it is very moving. It’s the most moving of victories, the most unexpected in a way. So, yes, I realize I’m the billionth person to make that joke. It’s been a great fortnight. Honestly, I played from the beginning, I got better every day. I played a good final. So very happy and I can’t thank everyone enough for the support from the first day I arrived. I’m really moved.
What is your state of mind about your future?
Nothing has changed in my mind. As I said in the previous days, it is obvious that I cannot and do not want to continue as I am now. So it’s very clear: I’m going to work on trying to find a solution and an improvement over what’s going on in my foot. It was a moving and terrifying fortnight, but I didn’t want to talk about it during the tournament.
To focus on my tennis and out of respect for my opponents. I said I’ll talk about it after the tournament. Now I can say, I played these two weeks in extreme conditions. I played with an injection in the nerves of my left foot to cut off the pain. I no longer had any sensation in my foot. It’s a risk, since we have less sensations and therefore more chances to step on the ankle but it’s Roland Garros and everyone knows how important this tournament is to me. It was the only way to give me a chance to play. So I did.
Do you plan to do it again?
We are going to start a radio frequency treatment next week to try to cut the sensations in both nerves and keep the sensations on the foot for a long time. If it works, I’ll keep playing; if it doesn’t work, then it’s another story: I should ask myself if I’m ready for a major surgery, the outcome of which will be uncertain and will take time to return. We will proceed step by step, as I have always done in my career.
How many injections did you get during this Roland Garros?
I don’t mean how many, but you can imagine I took a lot of anti-inflammatory drugs. And before every game, I had to do a few injections.
Will you be at Wimbledon at the end of the month?
I’ll be at Wimbledon if my body is ready. I love Wimbledon. No one wants to miss Wimbledon. I had a lot of success there. I had some great emotions. I have a lot of respect for the tournament. If I’m asked, “Are you going to play Wimbledon?” I don’t have a clear answer. But if I’m asked, “Do you want to win Wimbledon?” Then yes, of course!
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Do you sometimes wonder if it’s worth it? Not just as a champion, because you won today, but also as a post-tennis man? Do you have a limit, a line that you don’t want to cross?
What I have on my feet is not going to get worse after this tournament. There was a risk of having other problems playing with a sleeping foot, I took it, it worked here, I experienced an incredible emotion, which will remain etched in my memory forever. So it makes sense to me, but it’s not a risk I want to keep taking on turf. Life is always more important than any other title. Of course, my tennis career has been a priority all my life. But it has never been a priority over my happiness in life. I play tennis because I’m happy, not the other way around.
With 22 Grand Slam titles, what keeps you going?
It’s very simple to understand, at least for me. The idea is not to be the best in history and to win all the victories; i like to play tennis and i like competition. As I’ve said in the past, it’s not something I don’t feel. We have achieved our dreams, myself, Roger, Novak, we have achieved things we did not even dream of! What keeps me going is not competition, being the best, or winning more Grand Slams than others; what moves me forward is the passion for the game, to live moments that will stay in me forever and play in front of the best crowds and in the best stadiums in the world. That’s what motivates me.
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