Last year, Robin Soderling shocked the world by ending Rafael Nadal's winning streak at Roland Garros. After that match, Rafa had visited the doctor and was found to have tendinitis in both of his knees.
This caused him to withdraw from Wimbledon, where he was the defending champion. Nadal missed nearly two months on the tour, losing his No. 1 spot to Roger Federer when he won Wimbledon. Nadal had returned to the Roger's Cup, where he had begun to play again after his injury. It seemed like Nadal would not have any more injuries for a while.
Eight months after Nadal’s injury, he returned to Melbourne to defend his title. In the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, Nadal was matched up with the Brit Andy Murray. Everyone was excited for this match, but obviously Nadal's knee was not.
Nadal retired in his quarterfinal match during the third set while being down two sets to love. Murray was only three games to the match but Nadal said he could not go on any longer. He congratulated Murray and walked off the court losing 3-6, 6-7, 0-3.
His loss at Australia moved him down in the rankings to No. 4. This was his first time being this low since May 2005. Nadal reported after that he has a minor tear in a tendon in his right knee. He will return in two weeks to the BNP Paribas Open but will miss the Rotterdam tournament.
Now, if Nadal keeps getting his knees injured, will he have to retire at an earlier age? His knees have held him up from missing many tournaments and losing two matches in two majors.
Will Nadal be the same?
Can he be the player he once was again or are those days over?
If he keeps injuring his knees, it will be highly unlikely that Nadal will be the player he once was.
In my opinion, I think Nadal should try to learn new movement so that he won't hurt himself as much. I miss the Federer-Nadal rivalries in Finals, but I feel like those can never return again due to so many changes with these players in the past year.
Let's all hope we can see a much healthier Nadal in the future and no more injuries.