“I don’t know what may happen in the future, but I will continue to fight to try to continue,” he said as the exhausted crowd of 15,000 people, clearly well aware of the speculation, roared in approval. But there are no guarantees, as Nadal made clear later at a press conference, as he explained that he had no intention of continuing to play tournaments with regular injections of painkillers or with his foot asleep.
“Everyone knows what this tournament means to me,” he said. “That was the only way to give me a chance here, right? So I did. And I can’t be happier and I can’t thank my doctor enough for all the things he did all my career. tennis, helping me in every difficult moment, but obviously I can’t keep competing with my sleeping foot. “
Looking for a long-term solution, Nadal said he would undergo a procedure later this week known as radiofrequency ablation, in which radio waves would be sent through an empty needle inserted. to the nerves of his left foot which are causing him constant pain. . If the procedure works, which is not true, the heat of the radio waves could prevent the nerves from sending pain signals to the Christmas brain.
“If that works, I will continue; If that doesn’t work out, it will be another story, “said Nadal, who ruled out more painkillers to play at Wimbledon, which will begin in three weeks.
Nadal said that if the treatment was ineffective, he would have to be asked tough questions about his future in the game and if he wanted to risk foot surgery, they told him it could affect his mobility “to return to be competitive “and that it could” catch on “. a long time ”to recover.
“So let’s go step by step, like I did my entire tennis career,” he said of the decision-making process, refusing to rule out playing at Wimbledon.
Undoubtedly, he seemed ready for more tennis against Ruud, picking up speed and accuracy as the game progressed. Nadal was not at his best and was sometimes far from in his best form, losing his service in the third game with two double fouls and an unforced error from the right out of pace in the middle of the net. But Ruud was also struggling to find his way, looking nervous and restrained at key points in the first set and then overcoming himself at key points in later stages after working his nerves.