Rafael Nadal was knocked out of the US Open last night, Monday 5 September, after losing in four sets to American’s Frances Tiafoe.
Speaking after his defeat, Nadal, 36, then admitted he did not know when he would be returning to the court after citing he needed to “go home and fix things, life.”
The Spanish 22-time Grand Slam winner was one of the firm favourites to go on and win the tournament after it was confirmed Novak Djokovic would be unable to attend due to his vaccination status.
2021 champion Daniil Medvedev was then knocked out in his fourth round fixture by Wimbledon 2022 finalist Nick Kyrgios meaning this year will see a new champion crowned the US Open Grand Slam winner in the men’s tournament.
After his shock defeat to 22nd seed Tiafoe, Nadal has now announced he would be spending time away from the court to be with his heavily pregnant wife, Mery Perello, who was admitted to hospital two weeks ago for an operation.
What did Rafael Nadal say post-match?
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Nadal said: “As you can imagine, right now it is difficult for me to make a clear analysis of what my immediate future is going to be.
“Right now what I have to do is go home, I have much more important things to attend to than tennis.
“It’s been a few months a little difficult in every way, this is the reality. And from there, start again professionally speaking and, on a personal level, finish with something that is important in my life, which is having my first son and trust that everything will turn out well.
“I need to go back (home). I need to fix things, life, so I don’t know when I’m going to come back. I’m going to try be ready mentally. When I feel like I’m ready to compete again, I’ll be there.”
Will Rafael Nadal retire?
There is little to confirm the 22-Grand Slam winner is ready to fully hang up his tennis shoes but this would not be the first time the Spaniard has flirted with retirement.
Back in 2021, Nadal was forced to miss both Wimbledon and the US Open after suffering from a degenerative bone disease, but then returned to the court to pull off one of the most magical and improbably victories when he came from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open in January 2022.
After then claiming the French Open in June, Nadal was forced to withdraw from the semi-final of Wimbledon after suffering an abdominal injury.
Former Australian tennis star Jelena Dokic has said: “Considering all the injuries he’s had this year, I don’t think we’ll see him until the Australian Open (in January)”
This would mean the 36-year-old could miss the inaugural Rod Laver Cup teams event in September which was scheduled to have him, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray play on the same team for the first time in history.
Who is his wife, Maria Francisca Perello?
Perllo’s first job was a sports marketer in London but she has served as project director for the Rafa Nadal Foundation since 2008 - a charity launched by the tennis star.
The pair reportedly starting dating in 2005 but had known each other for years before, and after being together for 17 years, married in October 2020.
Perello was first spotted with her baby bump when her husband lifted the French Open trophy earlier this year.
Reports suggested ahead of the US Open that Perello was hospitalised and forced to undergo an operation due to avoid any complications with her pregnancy.
There have been no new updates on her current condition.
What is Rafael Nadal’s net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, the Spaniard is estimated to have a net worth of $220million. The ‘King of Clay’ has reportedly earned more than $130million in tournament prize money as well as earning millions through endorsements.
Between June 2019 and June 2020, it was suggested he earned around $41 million from his salary and endorsements.