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Nadal admits his foot is still bothering him: “Just try to stay positive because it’s my last tournament on hard”

The Spaniard says he’s been playing in some pain at times in Indian Wells but he remains unbeaten in 2022

Rafael Nadal Indian Wells backhand Icon SMI / Panoramic

Rafael Nadal is still going strong at the BNP Paribas Open but the Spaniard admits his foot is still bothering him as he tries to maintain his unbeaten start to the year.

The 35-year-old has won 19 of 19 matches this year. After winning a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, Nadal won Acapulco and has maintained his form in Indian Wells.

As he prepared to face Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals on Thursday – a match he won in three sets – Nadal admitted he’s been playing with some pain in the left foot which has been an issue since 2005 and which required treatment in late 2021, when Nadal did not play after August.

“For a moment (it felt) good,” he told reporters in Indian Wells after his win over Reilly Opelka in the fourth round. “Then on the second set, a little bit worse, being honest. I felt my foot a little bit on the second set. I was able to keep going, keep running till the end, no? That’s the same thing. Yes, being honest, I am not in the moment to lie or to hide things.

“I am just very happy to be playing tennis. Today was a little bit worse than other days. It’s true that the last couple of days the foot have been bothering me a little bit more. Something that can happen. We know that. Just try to be ready and stay positive because going to be my last tournament on hard. After we going to go back to clay. That probably helps a little bit more.”

“I will need to do the last effort to do it as good as possible here,” he said. “Hopefully the foot can keep holding. I am not thinking about the foot much. I am just thinking about my tennis and my next opponent. If something happens, we need to accept it.”

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