Rafael Nadal describes the tactical ‘injection’ approach that made French Open glory possible | Tennis | sport
Rafael Nadal has described his tactical injection approach which helped him deal with his chronic foot problem during his French Open title run. The Spaniard clinched the 22nd Grand Slam title of his career on Sunday as he tasted glory in Paris for the 14th time.
In 2005, Nadal’s tennis career was in danger of ending before it had really started after he was diagnosed with a rare hereditary problem with his tarsal scaphoid. But an insole in his trainer alleviated the problem throughout his career and eased his rise to the top of the game.
However, the injury flared up again last year and the 36-year-old was forced to miss Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open. The ace has been injecting his foot with painkillers to manage the problem lately and was able to challenge for Australian Open glory in January.
But the veteran struggled more at Roland-Garros after only being able to play five matches on clay before the tournament. And following his second-round victory over Corentin Moutet in the French capital, Nadal revealed he had changed the way injections were given.
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“I’m going to be at Wimbledon if my body is ready to be at Wimbledon,” Nadal said after his success at Roland Garros. “That’s it. Wimbledon is not a tournament I want to miss. I don’t think anyone wants to miss Wimbledon. I love Wimbledon. If I’m able to play with anti-inflammatories, yes – to play with anesthetic injections, no. I don’t want to put myself back in this position.
“It’s obvious with the circumstances I’m playing in, I can’t and I don’t want to continue. I played with injections on the nerves to numb the foot and that’s why I was able to play during those two weeks.