Rafael Nadal’s foot will be in good shape when it wakes up. Nadal opened up about the tactics he took to battle the soreness in his left foot at the French Open so he could run on the clay court after winning his record 14th career triumph at Roland Garros and 22nd Grand Slam trophy overall. Nadal has Mueller-Weiss Syndrome, a rare degenerative ailment that causes him constant discomfort and forced him to miss a significant portion of last year’s tournament.
“I had my doctor here with me,” Nadal told Eurosport after beating Casper Ruud, 6-3, 6-3, 6-0, in the French Open final Sunday. “I don’t know how to say in English the thing that we did, but we played with no feeling on the foot. We played with an injection on the nerve so the foot was asleep. That’s why I was able to play.”
Mueller-Weiss Syndrome, which produces a malformation in one of the central bones of the foot, has no cure. Because of the pain, Nadal had to withdraw from many tournaments last year, including the US Open, and it was feared that he may be forced to retire. In December, he returned to the court, but in March, he sustained a stress fracture in his rib, which forced him to miss six weeks of play.
“I’ve been a bit surprised [that I won]. Unexpected, as everybody knows,” said Nadal, who just turned 36. “Especially as everyone knows in the world on tennis, the preparation was not an ideal one. It’s obvious that I can’t keep competing with the foot asleep,” he concluded.
Rafael Nadal won his 14th Roland Garros title and a record-extending 22nd Grand Slam trophy on Sunday, defeating Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to add to his illustrious career. With his 22nd Grand Slam win, the Spaniard has pulled away from Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the Grand Slam standings, with the Serbian and Swiss equal on 20 major titles. After improving to 112-3 at the clay-court major, Nadal is now level with countryman Carlos Alcaraz on a Tour-leading four victories in 2022 after winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros in the same season.