‘I broke down and cried, we all cried’ Rafael Nadal nears retirement at just 19

Spanish professional tennis player Rafael Nadal became one of the best players in the sport at the start of the 21st century. He is particularly renowned for his success on clay. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the world by the ATP.

Before turning 20, Nadal had won 16 championships and risen to number two in the world, making him one of the most successful youngsters in ATP Tour history early in his career.

However, not everything went as planned. The 22-time Grand Slam title holder suffered a serious injury at the age of 19 in 2005, which nearly led to his retirement.

It was during the Madrid Masters that he first felt discomfort in his left foot. which prevented him from stepping on it. His doctor was unable to identify the problem. After that, Nadal saw a foot expert his uncle, Miguel Angel, had known since playing for Barcelona, ​​and he too was puzzled by the mysterious injury.

After a journalist raised concerns about his lameness following a three-set victory over David Goffin in Madrid, he admitted days earlier that the foot problem was incurable. “I have a lingering foot injury that is incurable. He acknowledged that his Mueller-Weiss syndrome was part of his life.

A tennis player’s navicular bone, which is necessary for powerful movement on the court, is heavily affected by Mueller-Weiss syndrome, a condition that causes persistent discomfort in the midfoot. When Nadal had his breakthrough year, winning Barcelona, ​​Monte Carlo, Rome and his first major championship at Roland Garros, it started to affect him.

In his 2011 biography, the 21-time major champion opened up about receiving his first diagnosis of Mueller-Weiss syndrome, which came two months after seeing the first doctor and left him worried about having to take his retirement at the age of 19. He wrote: “The specialist presented his verdict after diagnosing the problem. He also wrote: “I might be compelled to withdraw, at the age of nineteen, from the game in which I had invested the dreams of my life. I broke down and cried; we all cried.

Nadal had two seasons hampered by injuries. But in 2013 he had one of the best comeback seasons ever, reaching 14 finals, winning two majors, five Masters titles and the US Open Series sweep (Summer Slam). At the 2022 Australian Open, Nadal broke his tie with Djokovic and Federer for the most major men’s singles titles. He also became one of only four players in history to complete a career double Grand Slam in singles.

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