With his 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Rafael Nadal on Thursday in Rome, Denis Shapovalov earned his 150th career win, made his sixth career ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal, and became the first player to beat Rafa before the quarters of a Masters event since...himself, at the 2017 Montreal Masters.

But the bigger takeaway will be about the loser, whose foot injury appears to have reared its ugly head at the worst possible time—right before Roland Garros.

After dropping a lengthy second set, the 21-time Grand Slam champion seemingly played on merely to allow the Canadian his moment of victory.

"I am not injured; I am a player living with an injury," Nadal said in post-match press, referring to the Mueller-Weiss Syndrome that affects his foot. "It's something that is there, and unfortunately, my day by day is difficult, honestly. It's difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes ... A lot of days I can't practice the proper way."

"I don't want to take anything away from Denis," Nadal continued, citing the five-set contest the two played at this year's Australian Open.


Asked about his Roland Garros participation, Nadal aimed to not have pain that could affect his preparation, if that is even possible. He also said that his doctor would be with him in Paris.

"Still the goal, in one week and a couple of days," said Nadal, referring to the start of the tournament. "I'll still keep dreaming."


Shapovalov will go on to face Casper Ruud, with the winner possibility getting Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.