Rafael Nadal did not finish the season as he would have liked, but his 2022 is still an amazing year. The Spanish champion has won two Grand Slams, the Australian Open and Roland Garros, as well as having nurtured the dream of returning to the top of the ATP ranking at 36.
The former world number 1 was also on the hunt for his third title at Wimbledon, but a tear in his abs forced him to retire on the eve of the semi-final against Nick Kyrgios. That injury turned out to be more serious than expected and prevented him from arriving in New York in the best conditions, so much so that his US Open ended in the round of 16 against Frances Tiafoe.
The Manacor veteran played very little in the latter part of the season, also thanks to the birth of his first child. After being eliminated in the second round of the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000, Rafa was defeated by both Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime at the ATP Finals in Turin.
The Iberian partially redeemed himself by beating Casper Ruud on the last day of the ‘Green Group’, when he was already mathematically eliminated.
Brett Haber on Rafa Nadal
Tennis commentator Brett Haber has refused to read much into Rafael Nadal’s early exit from the ATP Finals in Turin following back-to-back straight-set losses.
“If you want to debate how long Rafael Nadal can/should keep playing, fine — that’s your right. But let’s not do it because he lost 2 matches in a row on a lightning-fast, low-bouncing indoor hardcourt vs top-10 opponents.
Never been his jam. Not indicative of anything, IMO.” Rafael Nadal has expressed his delight at having one of his greatest competitors, Novak Djokovic, back at the Australian Open in 2023. “Tennis is better when the best players are on the court,” Nadal said.
“At the end we don’t have to create many stories. Even if was a big mess what happened last year in Australia, was not good for our sport. That was past. Roger is not playing any more. I missed lot of Grand Slams for injuries.
Last year Novak was not able to play there. That’s past. What’s next is Novak will be able to play again,” he added. “That’s the best news possible, especially knowing that now the virus is more under control – seems – around the world.
So why not? Happy for him. Happy for the tournament. Happy for the fans. That’s it.”