Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal saw his winning streak snapped by American Taylor Fritz in straight sets at Indian Wells.
Triumphant Taylor! 👏
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 21, 2022
After his 20-match unbeaten run ended, Nadal revealed his physical struggles during the contest.
Nadal came into the match hampered by painful breathing that noticeably hindered his performance.
He even had to take multiple medical timeouts and painkillers to complete the final.
“He took two medical timeouts during the final. The first one came after he lost the first set. Nadal went inside with a trainer after tapping his upper left chest”https://t.co/RxhEu8Pq1T
— AE ❤️ (@possumbelly72) March 21, 2022
The Australian Open champion came into the match bothered by painful breathing that he first experienced in a three-set semi-final win. He took two medical timeouts during the final. The first one came after he lost the first set. Nadal went inside with a trainer after tapping his upper left chest. He got treatment on court after falling behind 5-4 in the second set.
“When I try to breathe, it’s painful, and it’s very uncomfortable. It’s like a needle all the time inside. I get dizzy a little bit because it’s painful. It’s a kind of pain that limit me a lot,” said Nadal, who turns 36 in June.
“The thing that worries me now, it’s about what’s going on there, what I have to do now to recover and how long going to take.”
First Sportz added:
Even after his semifinal win against Carlos Alcaraz, Nadal said that he had chest pains but ruled about any possibilities of a potential injury. He, at that moment, said that the pain was probably due to the adverse wind conditions. Having said that, Nadal has now 3 weeks to complete his recovery. He will skip the Miami Masters and will straight away start his clay season at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Prior to the Australian Open, Nadal had critical words for individuals who chose not to receive the experimental COVID-19 shots.
Per Tennis World:
Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal said taking the COVID-19 vaccine was an easy decision for him because he believes in the science and the health organizations. Nadal, 35, has been fully vaccinated and he is planning to play at the Australian Open.
“I am not with or without, I am just following what the organization of health says,” Nadal said, as revealed by Reem Abulleil. “I don’t pretend to know more than the authorized people say. If the people who really know about this say that we need to be vaccinated, who am I to create a different opinion?”
Nadal called out unvaccinated people last month
“I understand that there are people who don’t want to be vaccinated, but I think it’s a lbit selfish.
We have suffered a lot. We don’t know one hundred percent about the effects of vaccines, but we have to trust the doctors. What we do know is the effect of the virus if we are not vaccinated. It seems that we are currently the country least affected by the virus and I think it is because we have a large part of the population vaccinated,” Nadal told Marca in November.