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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday August 9, 2020

 
Nadal

Rafael Nadal is playing with pain this summer in North America, and it creates a tricky dynamic.

Photo Source: AP

Rafael Nadal’s foot will be the big issue as the Spaniard takes the court this week at the National Bank Open in Toronto. The news comes as no surprise to those who watched Nadal struggle mightily in his second-round victory over Jack Sock at D.C. Things got better for Nadal in the next round, and the 20-time major champion was upbeat, despite the fact that he fell to Lloyd Harris in three sets.

Tennis Express

But by no means is Nadal out of the injury cloud, and he admitted as much as he talked to reporters on Saturday in Toronto.

“As I said in Washington, D.C., I am going day by day,” Nadal said. “It’s true that sometimes my foot is bothering me more than what I would like, but I need to find again positive feelings with my foot, I really need to have a couple of weeks with less pain to have confidence in my movement, in knowing that I will be able to go out and compete for a long time with good chances, and that’s something that I am looking for in these tournaments.”

Nadal says he hopes to win some matches—maybe even the title—but his main goal is clear: he needs the foot to feel better if he wants to be a factor at the US Open this summer.

“I am coming to try to win but at the same time to keep following the positive feelings, for example last week in the first round it has been very tough with my foot then in the second round I felt a little bit better,” he said. “Even if I lost it was a positive thing for me, and that’s what I need to come back to the highest level.”


The good news for Nadal is that he’s familiar with the injury, and that – perhaps – explains why Nadal is comfortable playing through the pain this summer, rather than delaying his start of the US Open Series by a few weeks.

“Honestly I didn’t have an injury after Paris,” he said. “I just had the problem with the foot, I had the problem with my foot since 2005, there have been some moments that the situation is worse and some moments that the situation is better. After Paris my foot was not recovering, there has been a lot of pain for a couple of weeks. I couldn’t practice right away. I stayed for around 20 days without touching a racquet, to recover, and mentally of course it takes time.

“There have been some days better some days worse, in terms of the foot, I need have the feeling that I can practice days in a row, with not many problems, so that’s the biggest goal for me now.”

 

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