Friday, August 24, 2012

Have We Seen the Last of Rafa Nadal?

Over the last seven years, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal has carved out a legacy as one of the greatest of his generation, second only to Swiss machine Roger Federer.  Nadal has won 11 grand slam singles titles, tied for fourth all time, and an Olympic gold medal.  His seven French Open titles are an all-time record.  He is only 26.
Now, his career may be over as we know it.  According to an article by the Australian, Nadal's recent string of injuries - which led to a second round loss at Wimbledon earlier this year as well as his withdrawal from the Olympic games and the upcoming U.S. Open in New York - are most definitely career threatening. Nadal has a deformity in his foot which takes away a lot of shock absorbing ability and almost ended his career at 19 in 2005.

However, through special orthodics and shoes, he was able to play, albeit through terrible pain.  The special shoes put extra pressure on Nadal's knees and back - both of which have been big problems for him in his career.  Now, it may have all passed a breaking point.
I have always been a big Nadal fan and this is terrible news.  Always considered a clay specialist until later in his career, he was always gracious in victory and defeat and probably could have dethroned Federer as the best of all time had he been able to stay healthy.  If this report is entirely accurate, it's a sad day for tennis and for sports as a whole.

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