Rafael Nadal flew home to Mallorca on Saturday after quitting the Laver Cup, with the Spaniard revealing that he has re-injured his problem abdominal muscle.
The concern first came up last spring at Roland Garros when the 36-year-old lifted his 14th title at the Grand Slam where he dominates.
But he barely made a Wimbledon semi-final after trying to heal the injury and was still not on full form when he lost this month in the US Open fourth round to Frances Tiafoe.
Nadal told Spanish media early Saturday morning after losing a doubles rubber with the retiring Federer in the Swiss icon’s last match, that he is again plagued by injury.
“I’m not okay, I’m not okay. The truth is that these have been difficult weeks.”
In addition to his own physical problems, Nadal is concerned about his wife, reportedly resting in hospital to get through the last few weeks of a difficult pregnancy.
“Little, very little, few hours of sleep, a little stress in general, situations a little more complicated than usual at home,” the 22-time Grand Slam winner said.
“I’ve had to deal with all of that, which is a different pressure than what you’re used to in professional life.”
But he was soon breathing at least a partial sigh of relief: “Luckily everything is fine, and we are much calmer.
“(That’s why) I was able to come here, which for me was the most important thing.”
Shortly after his 2 a.m. conference, Nadal withdrew from the Laver competition in London and was heading home within hours after only arriving on Thursday.
Main photo:- Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer play doubles in Laver Cup, London Federer’s last competitive match – by Julian Finney/Getty