Rafael Nadal advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open after grinding down the challenge of young gun Grigor Dimitrov in four sets, and the pictures of his racquet-holding hand show just how painful the victory was.
World No. 1 Nadal had to call the trainer out to help tend to the injury during the match. Via Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times:
The cameras then arrowed in on the injury, showing not just the blister but also the number of bandages on Nadal's fingers as he strives to protect his hand.
The Spaniard has struggled with knee problems for many years, and this time a year ago he was still on the sidelines, with his career looking as if it could be in jeopardy.
Suffice it to say, he's familiar with pain.
Nadal was happy to show journalists his hand after the match.
However, there are few sports as relentless as tennis, not just for the five-set matches the men have to play at Grand Slams, but also for the sheer year-round slog of tournaments across the world.
As a result, it's hard to avoid injury almost anywhere. Andy Murray, for instance, lost a toenail at one point during the 2012 U.S. Open final against Novak Djokovic, but ploughed on to win the title in five hours.
That was at the end of the tournament, however—Nadal has just a couple of days for his hand to heal before a semifinal against legendary rival Roger Federer and a potential final.