Following his third round win today at the French Open, Rafael Nadal admitted that the back issue he had during the Australian Open final in January is flaring up again. Nadal spoke after a mediocre win over Leonardo Mayer 6-2, 7-5, 6-2, revealing his back, which was strapped for the match, was slowing his serve down.
“Yes, I felt a little bit my back, so that’s why I slow down a little bit the serve,” he said. “I felt a little bit from the beginning. In the second match I was not serving that fast, too.”
Nadal served 87mph second serves in the first match, 85mph in the second round and today was just 81mph.
Nadal, though, says he doesn’t think it’s a major concern for him as he seeks a 9th French Open title.
“I had the problem in Australia. It’s real. That’s the real thing. But hopefully not. Hopefully not. But, you know, during my career I had few problems, so always can happen things. Hopefully will not be this case.”
Nadal, a winner of his last 31 matches at the French Open, will have a day off before a fourth round match Monday against Serbian Dusan Lajovic.
Saturday marked the 5-year anniversary of his only loss at the French Open.
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