After Rafael Nadal underlined his sporting ownership of a plot of land in the south-west of Paris by winning his fourteenth French Open title on Sunday, some of France’s leading cyclists have questioned the tennis star’s use of anaesthetic injections during the tournament.
Following his 22nd win at a Grand Slam event, a feat which pulls Nadal two clear of long-term rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the all-time list, the 36-year-old revealed that he had required multiple injections throughout the two weeks (link is external) to deal with a chronic foot injury, to the extent that the Spaniard said that his left foot was “asleep” during his emphatic victory over Casper Ruud.
When asked by former Austrian pro and Eurosport presenter Barbara Schett how many anaesthetic injections – perfectly legal in tennis – he had received during the tournament, Nadal replied: “It’s better that you don’t know.”
That particular exchange prompted French darling Thibaut Pinot – who himself has been dogged by a chronic back injury in recent years – to tweet: “Today’s heroes…” Pinot’s response was questioned by French tennis player Jonathan Eysseric, knocked out in the first round of the mixed doubles at Roland Garros, who wrote that the Groupama-FDJ rider’s tweet was one of “sadness”.
“Why?” Pinot, seeking to clarify his remarks, replied this morning (link is external) . “Because I have my convictions, a way of seeing sport and sports performance differently than yours maybe?
“My tweet (three words) which is causing so much reaction fell on […]