Rafael Nadal is back at the TP circuit after the injury that kept him out of competition for the entire second half of the 2021 season. With a very long streak of consecutive victories (the longest of his career, starting with the concrete earlier in the year) and reaching the finals in the first four Tests in which he took part, the Spaniard sent clear signals to all the competition and commanded all , including one Novak Djokovic who was struggling with bureaucratic issues related to anti-Covid regulations.
The Iberian was able to win the Melbourne ATP 250 and the Australian Open for the second time thanks to some impressive performances (including in the final against Daniil Medvedev who recovered from a 0-2 deficit).
The victory in Mexico and the final in Indian Wells, which was also lost due to injury, were the icing on the cake of an already framed year. On clay, the Mallorcan left no mark in the preparatory tournaments, but he left his mark again at Roland Garros, showing that Paris is his second home.
At Wimbledon, a physical ailment prevented him from playing the semifinals with Nick Kyrgios and he officially returned to Cincinnati where he failed to debut. In short, a spectacular year 2022 so far for the world number three who wants to continue to impress.
In the last few hours, this 36-year-old has achieved the official status he so desired. In fact, Rafa is the first player to qualify for the next Nitto ATP Finals, reserved for the top eight players of each year (via the career rankings, which counts all points scored in the same season).
Rafa Nadal won two Slams in 2022
A fully fit Rafael Nadal will be dangerous at the US Open despite his stuttering return to action at the Western & Southern Open, according to tennis analyst Barbara Schett. “Don’t forget that this was his first game since the injury,” she told Eurosport.
“The game is always different from training. And anyone who has had an abdominal injury and a tear in the abdominal muscles knows how it feels. You must be extremely careful. You worry that you will hurt it again.
And I think that’s what we saw on Wednesday. Playing against Coric he was a little unsure of how the body would hold up. And I’m sure he’ll keep feeling better. If the abdominal muscle is not damaged, he still has a week and a half to improve his health, to improve confidence, also that he can stretch and cannot bend down on the serve because that is the most difficult shot, the serve and The punch.
If that’s the case, Rafa Nadal can certainly become dangerous again at the US Open. I mean he’s so fired up at every single Grand Slam. We saw him play the best tennis of his life this year. You can never write him off.”