Rafael Nadal finished the season inside the top 2 with 36. The Spaniard claimed two Major titles in 2022 and became the table leader with 22 named Major crowns. Despite setbacks with injuries, Nadal has won four titles this year, reaching the 90th milestone and hopes to chase 100th in the coming years.
The Spaniard wrapped up his official duties at the ATP Finals, losing four straight matches for the first time in 13 years before beating Casper Ruud to close out the season with a win. Nadal defeated Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in the Roland Garros final in June, the first for the Norwegian at the Majors.
Casper passed his good friend up the ATP ranking list after the US Open, battling Carlos Alcaraz for the ATP throne but ending up on the losing side in his second Major final. Casper will finish the season inside the top 3 for the first time, following Carlos Alcaraz and Nadal and hoping to surpass them next year.
Nadal and Ruud did not have time to enjoy the pre-season after Turin, embracing the plains and traveling to Buenos Aires for their first exhibition match in South America. Rafa and Casper kicked off their tour in front of a packed stadium, with Nadal scoring a 7-6, 6-2 triumph in his first match in Argentina since 2016.
Ruud took the first break in the fifth game of the opener and held on in the next for 4-2. Nadal held on in game seven and came from 30-0 down in the next to win back the break and gain confidence. Casper denied a set point on serve in game ten to extend the battle to a tiebreaker.
Rafa claimed it 10-8 after an excellent point for a massive drive ahead of set number two. The Spaniard built an early lead and carved out a 4-1 lead with another break on his own. Nadal went up 5-1 and Ruud served to stay in the match in the seventh game.
The Norwegian did a great job, and the Spaniard served for the 5-2 win. At 15-0 in game eight, Rafa launched a leaping forehand down the line winner, firing off one of the fastest forehands of his career, as the spectators could barely see the ball!
Nadal stayed in love to emerge on top and celebrate victory ahead of their second meeting in Chile in as many days.