Rafael Nadal is not the only player to have won a prestige title while playing with a foot “asleep” through medication.
It seems as if American Taylor Fritz has undergone the same therapy and won the Indian Wells title last March while “under the influence.” Ironically, his opponent in that Masters 1000 final was Nadal himself.
The 36-year-old Nadal has been attracting lingering attention after revealing that he won his record-extending 14th Roland Garros tritle this month with his troublesome right foot “dead” from a nerve injection before each match.
But the controversial procedure seems to be moving towards mainstream with the revelations from Fritz, the No. 14 who entered Wimbledon with a grass title at Eastbourne in his pocket.
The American said he needed the injection after sustaining an Indian Wells semi-final injury against Andrey Rublev.
“Since it was a strange pain, I expected to get up the next day feeling good.
“I got to warm up before the final, but I was in the worst possible pain. I definitely thought I could not play the final.”
He added: “Luckily the doctors gave me several injections of lidocaine to numb my foot, and I literally couldn’t feel my foot at any point during the final, which was fine.”