TENNIS

The reasons why Nadal will miss the rest of the 2021 tennis season

Rafa Nadal said on Friday that he will end his 2021 season early due to a left foot issue that has been troubling him for a year, ruling him out of this month's U.S. Open.

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Spain's Rafa Nadal has confirmed that he will end his 2021 season early due to a left foot issue that has been troubling him for a year, ruling him out of this month's U.S. Open. Nadal has also been dealing with patellar tendinitis in both knees since the age of 21.

The world number four suffered a shock exit in Washington this month, where he kicked off his lead-up to the final Grand Slam of the year, and last week pulled out of the Masters 1000 event in Toronto due to the problem.

"I wanted to inform you that unfortunately I have to end the 2021 season," Nadal tweeted on Friday.

The recurring issue flared up at the French Open, where he fell to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

"Honestly, I have been suffering much more than I should with my foot for a year and I need to take some time... to find a solution to this problem or at least improve it in order to continue to have options for the next few years," Nadal said.

"I'm with the maximum enthusiasm and predisposition to do whatever it takes to recover the best possible shape to keep competing for the things that really motivate me.

Tennis - National Bank Open09 August 2021, Canada, Toronto: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal in action at a practices session during Men's National Bank Open tennis tournament. Photo: Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via ZUMA/dpa

"I'm convinced that with the recovery of the foot and obviously a very important daily effort... this can be achieved. I will work as hard as I can to make it happen."

Nadal's great rival and fellow 20-times Grand Slam winner Roger Federer is also out of the U.S. Open and will be sidelined for many months because he needs knee surgery.