‘An important part of my life is leaving too,’ says emotional Rafael Nadal
AUSTRALIAN tennis star Rafael Nadal says it is more difficult to come to terms with his decision to sit out the upcoming season over an eye injury.
The Spaniard suffered a double breakage in his second-round match at the Rogers Cup to exit after a first-set, six-hour loss.
In a heartbreaking twist, the 31-year-old lost in his quarter-final match to American Sam Querrey, who was forced to retire when he injured his elbow in their second opening set.
“The first thing you think about is the injury, and I’m happy that I only had two months of tennis to recover,” Nadal told reporters.
“It was a very, very important decision to me. I wasn’t sure how things were going to turn out. The time is now to make a decision.
“I don’t want to waste another year, and my body doesn’t allow me to go on for another year without playing.
“I’m not here just for fun. I want to go out there and compete. It’s going to be tough to come back. I still think I’ve got some time to get ready the next week.”
Nadal’s decision to end his season before its conclusion over an injury to his left eye is the latest in a number of changes at the top level of the sport.
He is just one of a number of high-profile players to be forced to call time on their career over injury setbacks.
Former world number one Roger Federer announced he would skip Wimbledon and the US Open in a statement, while Andy Murray, the world number one, is also unlikely to be at the upcoming Australian Open.
Nadal’s decision to call an end to his season in the early stages, however, will be a blow to his young charges in the absence of one of the game’s top-ranked players.
Nadal had been the top-ranked player in the world for the fourth-consecutive year but has struggled to remain at the top since the end of 2015.
He won 23 titles on the men’s tour in 2015 and had equaled his best performance since the 2013 US Open before losing to Nadal in the Madrid final on Sunday.