Rafael Nadal forced to call halt to 2021 season due to foot problem

Rafael Nadal forced to call halt to 2021 season due to foot problem

Rafael Nadal has said 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 US Open.

The world No 4 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.

“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 fellow 20-times grand slam winner Roger Federer is also out of the US Open and will be sidelined for “many months” due to requiring a third operation on his right knee. Defending champion Dominic Thiem and 2016 champ Stan Wawrinka have also pulled out of this year’s tournament. World No 1 Novak Djokovic will go into the tournament, which begins on 30 August, as a heavy favourite to complete the calendar Grand Slam.