Rafael Nadal overwhelmed Casper Ruud in straight sets Sunday to win his 14th French Open championship and 22nd Grand Slam title. But he revealed after the match that he needed an injection to his ailing left foot just to be able to play.
After his 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 victory, Nadal received an injection to numb his foot for Sunday’s final.
During the trophy ceremony, Nadal thanked his family and support team for helping him, because otherwise, he would have needed to “retire much before.”
“I’m going to keep fighting to try to keep going.” – Rafael Nadal
Nadal revealed during his media availability after the match that he’d been undergoing frequent injections into a nerve throughout the past two weeks at Roland Garros, serving to numb the pain in his foot caused by Mueller-Weiss syndrome. It is not a long-term solution to the chronic foot problem, and he is expected to visit a specialist next week to undergo a fresh procedure – a radiofrequency nerve ablation.
But he did confirm he would not go through the whole process of getting injections daily to get him through Wimbledon.
“Wimbledon is a priority, always [has] been a priority. If I am able to play with anti-inflammatories? Yes. To play with anaesthetic injections? No. I don’t want to put myself in that position again. Can happen once, but no, is not a philosophy of life that I want to follow.
“So let’s see. I am always a positive guy, and I always expect things going the right way. So let’s be confident, and let’s be positive. Then let’s see what’s going on.”
The Spanish star’s first triumph in Paris came in 2005 at age 19. No man or woman ever has won the singles trophy at any major event more times than his 14 in Paris. And no man has won more Grand Slam titles than Nadal.
Rafael Nadal wins 14th French Open title, 22nd Grand Slam, becomes oldest champ in tourney history.