After injuries and setbacks, Rafael Nadal remains a happy camper as of the end of 2022. The Spanish legend has claimed two major crowns this year, beating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and ranking only in the top 22 most notable tennis trophies.
Furthermore, Rafa is the oldest year-end top 2 player since the beginning of the ATP rankings in 1973, taking that record from Roger Federer. While he knows he can’t continue for another ten years, Nadal is eager to play at his best for a few more seasons and extend his already incredible legacy.
Rafa had a season to forget last year, struggling with a foot injury and playing just two matches following the Roland Garros loss to Novak Djokovic. Not knowing what to expect, Nadal headed to Australia this January, eager to see where he would stand and hoping to play as many matches as possible.
As many times before, the Spaniard stopped the clock and made the best start to a season of his career after winning the first 20 games. Nadal claimed three straight titles, including his first Australian Open crown since 2009 following an epic victory over Daniil Medvedev.
Rafa broke a rib in Indian Wells and lost the final to Taylor Fritz in straight sets. The king of clay skipped Monte Carlo and Barcelona and lost momentum.
Rafael Nadal is ready for another hot run in 2023.
He returned to Madrid and Rome and played well below his best level, with more foot problems ahead of his beloved Mayor.
Requiring injections before every match in Paris, Nadal extended his Roland Garros dominance and claimed the 14th trophy in 18 trips to the French capital. It was the last shining moment of Rafa’s season, which was hard to believe at the time.
The Spaniard injured his abdominal muscle at Wimbledon and withdrew ahead of a semifinal matchup with Nick Kyrgios. Rafa played just nine more matches at the end of the year, scoring four wins and experiencing four straight losses for the first time since 2009!
Still, the veteran is pleased with his campaign, says it’s a gift to finish in such a high position and wishes for more of January at the United Cup and Australian Open. “I am happy with the season and my current ranking.
At this point in my career, being here is a gift, and I always give everything with passion and intensity. I can’t play for ten more years, but I will give my best as long as I compete”, said Rafael Nadal.