Rafael Nadal, the number 2 ranked tennis player in the world, has a consummate resume of professional tennis achievements that includes 46 titles, 10 Grand Slam championships and the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal. There is one title that has eluded Nadal in his stellar career thus far and that is the Sony Ericsson Open, from which Nadal withdrew at the end of March after reaching the semifinals. Nadal, who has played through knee injuries before such as at the 2004 French Open, was scheduled to play Andy Murray, who had beaten him on the big stage before. In fact, even with a healthy knee, the Sony Ericsson match was expected to be a shootout.
Nadal is a three-time runner-up at the Sony Ericsson Open and has yet to win the title. Though this is hardly a blemish on his career, because of his longstanding knee issues insiders would have to note the lingering doubts as to Nadal’s long-term health. Responding to such doubts, Nadal issued the followed statement: “As always, I believe that things can improve. I did a lot of treatment, waiting.” Nadal went on to apologize to his fans and the people in attendance for the Sony Ericsson semifinal matchup.
Nadal’s next move will be to recuperate in time to hit the ground running during the clay-court season, which kicks into full swing in mid-April when Nadal plans to compete at the Monte Carlo Masters, then ideally at the French Open at the end of May. In the meantime, Nadal will hardly be idle or testing his backhand on onlinepokerlowdown.com (small plug to our friends ;)). Nadal has been managing knee pain since 2009 when his knee tendinitis first flared up. At the time, Nadal combatted the condition with a Platelet-Rich Plasma injection. Since then, knee pain has been an ongoing companion for the 25 year-old player. Whether or not Nadal will receive similar or more aggressive treatment for his current left knee malady is unclear.
While some analysts have speculated that the withdrawal was precautionary and that the knee is not that bad off, it appears Nadal will need some form of recuperative therapy prior to clay-court season. In the meantime, the Sony Ericsson still eludes Nadal.