Tennis icon Rafael Nadal has revealed that he was suffering with concerning breathing difficulties during his Indian Wells final defeat to Taylor Fritz.
The spanish star said it had hindered his ability to perform in the Indian Wells final. He said when he was breathing it was “like a needle all the time inside” adding that the pain caused him to get dizzy.
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Nadal was defeated 6-3 7-6 (7-5) byTaylor Fritz as the American inflicted the first defeat of 2022 on the Australian Open champion.
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Earlier this year Nadal hit out at Novak Djokovic for not getting vaccinated against Covid-19 saying he should “follow the rules”.
The Express reports: Nadal, who became the most successful male tennis player in the sport’s history when he triumphed Down Under in January, left the court for treatment after going down 4-0 in the first set. The 35-year-old admitted after the contest that he was struggling to breathe.
“It’s tough for me to breathe. When I try to breathe, it’s painful and it’s very uncomfortable,” Nadal said. ”When I’m breathing, when I’m moving it’s like a needle all the time inside here. I get dizzy a little bit because it’s painful.
“It’s a kind of pain that limits me a lot. It’s not only about pain, I don’t feel very well because it affects my breathing.
“Honestly I am sad because of the way I was not able to compete. The thing that worries me now, it’s about what’s going on there, what I have to do now to recover and how long it’s going to take.”
Nadal got his 2022 season off to the perfect start with the triumph at the first Grand Slam of the season, securing an unprecedented 21st Major title. However, the Spaniard made 34 unforced errors in the match as Fritz became the first American to claim the title at Indian Wells since Andre Agassi in 2001.