Rafael Nadal wrapped up what has largely been for him three months of misery by retiring yesterday in the opening round at Miami.
Nadal was up a set and seemingly in control before Bosnian Damir Dzuhmer made things interesting breaking Rafa in the second and again in the third until the Spaniard had had enough down 2-6, 6-4, 3-0.
It was a hot and sticky day, but not uncommon to South Florida and not conditions one would think would trouble someone like Rafa. Yet a laboring Nadal asked for the trainer and then had the doctor check his blood pressure which turned out to be normal.
Obviously, something was wrong, be it mentally or physically, but no one knew (or as of now, knows) what was the matter. Said Rafa:
“Everything was fine until end of the first set. I start to feel myself not very good. It’s getting worse, worse, and worse, so finally in the second set I realize that I was not able to keep playing,” Nadal said. “I tried to resist, but I get a little bit scared to be too dizzy.
“So I call the doctor a couple of times, but I felt that I was not safe there so I decided to go. I wanted to finish the match, but I seriously could not.”
Was it a case of something internal like a virus – like the one Roger had – and the nerves nad anxiety of blowing another lead, something he’s been doing a lot of.
Regardless, with the bitter taste of his first retirement since the 2010 Australian Open still in his mouth, Nadal now turns to clay, probably a bit shaken from the events of yesterday.
“Hopefully is nothing. Hopefully is just the extreme conditions out there,” he went on. “Something happen, hopefully is the beginning of a virus, and in combination with the conditions I had this strange feelings. But just finished half an hour ago, so I don’t know.”
And hopefully it is nothing. As I’ve written before, the most startling thing about Nadal’s recent slide the last 15 months or so has been the fact he’s been as healthy as ever during it.
With his 30th birthday around the corner and his mind and now body once again failing him, it does have that feeling that the end really is near.
And Nadal enters his favourite part of the year still without a title on the season and with just one single Top 40 win, that over Kei Nishikori at Indian Wells.
“It’s a hard accident, but that’s life and it’s like this,” Nadal said. “If the health is fine in a couple of days, so nothing important is there. The most important thing is health than any tournament. If I am able to practice in a couple of days I know I was playing well and I hope to be ready for the clay.”
Nadal left Miami answering one last question on the state of his health. “So-so,” he replied.
So-so? Unfortunately, that’s not just Rafa’s health.
You Might Like:
Serena Williams, Azarenka, Yawn: US Open Women’s Preview
Canadians Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime Lead Depleted ATP Sofia Field
Li Na Expected To Announce Retirement Friday
Tsonga, Roddick Serve Up a Treat; Nadal, Federer Opt for Tricks in Paris
Murray Lands in Nadal Quarter; Federer v. Djokovic Possible Australian Open SF