The Australian Open did not end well for Rafael Nadal. Not only did the 2013 ATP player of the year lose in the final round, but he also suffered an injury that could affect him in upcoming tournaments.
Nadal hurt his back in the match with Stanislas Wawrinka. He ended up losing 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 in the Finals of the first Grand Slam event of 2014. He battled through the pain, leaving the court during the second set for medical attention. The injury was almost bad enough to force the 27-year-old to quit, but he refused to give up his chance to win a second career Australian Open.
"The last thing that I wanted to do was retire. No, I hate to do that, especially in a final," said Nadal. "At the same time, it's tough to see yourself during the whole year, working for a moment like this, and the moment arrives and you feel that you are not able to play at your best.”
His time on the court with Wawrinka was so painful that Nadal told Spanish radio it was "the worst hour and a half" he’d spent on a tennis court. Even after enduring physical pain and the heartbreaking loss, Nadal seemed to be in good spirits.
"The soul is good,” he said. “It wouldn't be right to say I was not well after all the things this life has given me. I am a person that takes losses very well, I always have been, and I really do not think about them anymore after a few hours. This time it's taking me a little more."
Following the tournament, Nadal had tests done to determine the severity of his injury. Luckily for the tennis player, no serious issues were discovered. He’s been prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy, according to the Associated Press.
After Nadal learned his results, he released a statement about his recovery. Nadal resumed playing tennis on Thursday. However, he wouldn’t reveal when he’ll be ready to play in another tournament, simply saying he’d decide “when he is ready to return to competition,” based on how he performs in his preparations on the court.
Nadal is scheduled to play in the 2014 Copa Claro in Argentina. The tournament will run from Feb. 8 until Feb. 16.