Rafael Nadal's Blistered Hand at Australian Open Match Looks Painful

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterJanuary 22, 2014

Rafael Nadal of Spain receives medical treatment to a blister on his hand during his quarterfinal against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.(AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)
Andrew Brownbill/Associated Press

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:

I'm no doctor, but Nadal still has an ouchy-looking blister on his left hand. Being treated now. #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/UendFcAw6w

— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 22, 2014

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.

Aaron Favila/Associated Press

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.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 22:  A trainer treats the blister on the hand of Rafael Nadal of Spain in his quarterfinal match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria during day 10 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2014 in Melbourn
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Nadal was happy to show journalists his hand after the match.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20:  Rafael Nadal of Spain shows his blistered hand during a press conference after he won his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori of Japan during day eight of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2
Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

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.