COREY SIPKIN/AFP/Getty Rafael Nadal suffers bloody nose at 2022 US Open
The 36-year-old tennis great was in the fourth set against Fabio Fognini during Thursday's second round match when his racket ricocheted off the ground while he was going for the ball. The star immediately stopped playing and went over to the side lines where he received medical attention for the bloody cut on his nose.
Nadal's opponent, Fognini of Italy, went over to check on Nadal, and fortunately play was able to resume roughly five minutes later. Afterwards, the star, who sported a bandaid on his nose for the rest of the night, was able to rally, winning the match 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.
Nadal told US Open attendees during his postgame interview that he was a "little dizzy at the beginning" of play after the injury, which he admitted was "a little bit painful."
Despite the scary injury, Nadal appeared to be in good spirits afterwards and even joked about having been hit in the face with a golf club, but never before "with a tennis racket."
Rafa Nadal returns to action after sustaining a cut on his nose. 👏 pic.twitter.com/m6gOlcqk2K
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 2, 2022
Following the match, Nadal told reporters he initially worried that he broke his nose
"(It) was just a strong hit," he remarked, according to CNN. "At the beginning, I thought I (broke) the nose because it was a shock at the beginning. Was very painful. I lost little bit the – I don't know how to say in English – but a little bit the feeling of my head. It's about being a little bit out of the world."
Nadal joked that while it seemed like his nose wasn't broken, it was "getting bigger and bigger."
The tennis star also took to social media to assure his 16 million Instagram followers that the injury wasn't going to derail him. At 1:35 a.m., Nadal tagged the US Open Tennis Championships as his location as he let his fans know he'll be ready to go for his next match.
"All good," he wrote alongside a thumbs-up selfie.
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Rafael Nadal/Instagram Rafael Nadal assures fans he's "all good" after bloody nose injury at US Open
The biggest shock for Nadal however, wasn't the hit to his face, but his poor play to start the match. Per CNN, Nadal joked afterwards, "That's just a shock some way I deserved to play that bad for a while!"
Prior to competing in the US Open, Nadal struggled with an abdominal tear that kept him from facing Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon semi-finals in July. "Unfortunately, as you can imagine, if I am here, it's because I have to pull out from the tournament," the Spanish tennis player said at a press conference in June. "I have a tear in the muscle in the abdominal … It's obvious that if I keep going, the injury [is] gonna be worse and worse."
"I made my decision because I believe I can't win two matches under these circumstances," the Spaniard added. "I can't do my normal movement to serve." Nadal said it would likely take three to four weeks to recover from the injury.