In an interview after winning his 12th Roland Garrow title, Rafa talked about the injuries he was facing this season and revealed that at one point, he considered shutting down his season to try to recover his body.
https://www.atptour.com/en/news/nadal-reflects-12th-roland-garros-title-2019What happened after Indian Wells in March, when you injured your right knee and couldn’t compete in the semi-finals against Roger Federer?
Mentally, after Indian Wells, I suffered a major downturn. Ideas and scenarios were swirling inside my head. I considered shutting down my season to see if my body would recuperate instead of playing through injury after injury. Another option was to press on and play through the pain. Either way, the outlook was bleak. It required a change of mindset this time, and that doesn’t happen overnight.
Your coach, Carlos Moya, recently said: “Since I’ve starting coaching Rafa, I’ve never seen him look so [downtrodden].”
I was reluctant and hesitant to return. Physically, because of another tendon tear in my knee, and on top of going through all the treatment required in the recovery process, there was dealing with the pain. That’s the reality of the matter — it was different this time. That’s not how it usually works with me.
Normally, the injury is diagnosed, I rehab, practise and go through the routine like it’s no big deal. I’d play through pain and wouldn’t even consider that as suffering. This time was different … considering my history of competing, of fighting. Normally, this process isn’t what I would consider “suffering”.
Can you explain?
Between the level of pain and just being sidelined, there came a time when I just felt tired of all of this. I was sick of always being in pain. I get it: with competing comes pain. But when you’ve accumulated injuries, decided to deal with them, recovered from them and before you even get back on the court you’ve acquired another, that takes a toll.
After Indian Wells, I took a moment to make sense of all of it. I felt a little more upbeat around the time of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, but I was still in a very low place and hardly positive.