Rafael Nadal has won the 14th French Open with pain-relieving injections every day on his aching left leg and will now try to heal the injury permanently by warning that his record-breaking career is on the line.
Nadal, 36, extended his Grand Slam title record to 22 by defeating Caspar Rudd 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in Sunday’s final at the Roland Garros. Years old.
The oldest winner in Paris, he was unsure about taking part after a chronic left foot injury that had plagued him throughout his career, re-ignited.
Following Sunday’s victory, Nadal revealed that he and his medical team are facing a potential make-or-break week.
“It simply came to our notice then. I will continue to work to resolve and improve what is happening on the feet, “said Nadal.
Nadal said the only way he could achieve the French Open was by taking anesthetic injections into his leg nerves.
Now his medical team will try to burn the nerves using a technique he described as “radio frequency injection”.
“If it works, I’ll continue. If not, it will be another story and I will ask myself if I am ready for a major surgery that cannot guarantee that I will be competitive and take a long time to come back.”
With just three weeks to go before Wimbledon, Nadal faces competition against time.
He was a champion at the All England Club in 2008 and 2010. If he can win the title again, he will be three-quarters of the way to the first men’s calendar Grand Slam since 1969.
“I love Wimbledon. So if you ask me if I’m at Wimbledon, I can’t give you a clear answer. Let’s see how the medicine works, “he said.
“If I could play with anti-inflammatory drugs, yes; Play with anesthetic injections, no. I don’t want to put myself in that position anymore. “
Nadal’s two-hour, 18-minute run on Sunday saw his record in the tournament reach 112 wins against just three losses.
“The most important thing is to congratulate Rafa,” Roude said.
“You are a true champion. This is the first time I’ve met you so now I know what it’s like to be a victim! There will be many more.
“You took me to your academy with open arms and you are a real inspiration to me. We all hope you continue for some more time. ”
Nadal, unbeaten in the previous 13 finals in Paris and in his 30th Grand Slam qualifier, made a flying start against Rudd, the first Norwegian to take part in a Major Championship match.
He braked for 2-0 and although he straightened the brake courtesy of two unusual double faults, he quickly came back to the front for 3-1.
The Spaniard wrapped up the opener in the 49th minute against his 23-year-old opponent who has been training at his academy in Manaco since 2018.
Rudd, the world number eight, an in-form player on the ground since early 2020, with 66 wins on the surface, was again under siege in the second set, having to fight three break points in the opening game.
There was a sudden glimmer of hope when Nadal broke the 3-1 lead with a double fault cough. However, Nadal roared with a double break for 4-3.
Rudd saved three set points in the ninth game but his first double fault in the final gave Nadal a two-set lead.
Nadal said on the eve of the final that he would rather lose Sunday’s match in exchange for new legs.
However, without the need to hit top gear, he was in complete control against Rudd, away from the title with three breaks in the third set ending in 30 minutes.
Nadal sealed the victory with a backhand down the line, his 37th winner in the final.
Earlier on Sunday, Coco Goff lost in the final of the second heartbreaking French Open when she and her American partner Jessica Pegula lost to Caroline Garcia and Christina Mladenovic in the women’s doubles final.
The French pair added a 2022 title to their 2016 Roland Garros win by winning 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
On Saturday, the 18-year-old Goff lost in straight sets to Poland’s Iga Suatek at the Roland Garros in the singles final.
“Hopefully, we can win one in the future,” Goff told the crowd and praised the environment.
“The band was great. I thought I was playing an American football game.”
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