After his 3-set quarterfinal win Friday over Fabio Fognini, Rafael Nadal admitted that during the first point of the match he experienced some discomfort in his chronically injured left knee.
“When something happens in a place that is sensitive for me, you get scared, first thing,” said Nadal. “Second thing, I felt pain at the beginning. I don’t feel comfortable with my movements for all the match, but it’s true that I improved during the match. So that’s important.
Nadal pressed on and came back on Fognini despite being down 62, 41.
“I finished the match with a little bit more confidence on my movements than what I had during the first set and‑‑ almost two sets. But I really hope that it’s only a bad movement. Just hopefully it’s not nothing serious and I will be 100% ready for tomorrow.
“But, you know, when something happened like this in the first point in the match, your knee, you know, the memory stays there and is very difficult to be 100% focused on the match because you are thinking about if I really did a bad movement or not.
“I don’t felt power on the knee when I was running to the balls for long time in the match, but what’s very positive is I really was feeling better and better during the match. So if something very bad happening, going to be the opposite.”
Nadal only needed his knee for six games today against Tomas Berdych who retired down 42 in the first set with a back injury. But tomorrow the knee will get a big workout against Novak Djokovic in the final.
As part of a busy finish to the year, following Tokyo Rafa is scheduled to play in Shanghai next week.
Nadal has won his last 30 matches on hardcourts. He’s 26-0 on the surface since returning to the sport in February after missing seven months due to the same left knee.
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