Rafael Nadal: 'I'm excited to be back'

“I’m happy to be back”

Rafael Nadal will start his first US Open season since 2019 against Rinky Hijikata on Tuesday. Rafa will start his 16th US Open three years after his last game in New York, aiming for the fifth US Open crown and 23rd Major.

Nadal’s fourth US Open title came in 2019 after a thrilling win over Daniil Medvedev in the final that went to the end. Nadal has been training on Arthur Ashe for a few days with Taylor Fritz, Miomir Kecmanovic and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The Spaniard is hoping to bounce back from an early loss to Cincinnati, putting an abdominal injury behind him. Nadal leads the ATP Race to Torino after a 35-4 result in 2022, captures two Major titles and has an excellent shot at becoming world No. 1.

1 after the US Open. Rafa’s main concern at the moment is his serve, who sustained a stomach injury at Wimbledon and is struggling to serve correctly during practice runs. He also experienced an early end in Cincinnati and went to New York without momentum.

Rafael Nadal is aiming for his fifth US Open crown.

Nadal returned stronger after a challenging 2021, clinching three straight titles earlier in the current season, including his first Australian Open crown in 13 years.

With momentum on his side, Nadal lifted the trophy in Acapulco and reached the Indian Wells final for a perfect start to the season. He played it with a broken rib and lost to Taylor Fritz in straight sets. Rafa missed Monte Carlo and Barcelona and didn’t play at his usual level in Madrid and Rome as he lacked form and games on his beloved clay.

Nadal shifted into higher gear in the most important scene and secured his 14th Roland Garros title. Rafa beat Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev after thrillers, toppling Casper Ruud in straight sets in the final to write history books.

Eager to continue that run at Wimbledon, Nadal reached the All England Club’s third consecutive semi-final. Despite this, he withdrew before the clash with Nick Kyrgios due to a stomach injury. Rafa skipped Montreal and suffered an early defeat in Cincinnati, shifting his focus to the US Open.

Nadal will be the 2nd seed in New York, fighting for the ATP throne with Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud. “I’m happy to be back. Haven’t been here since 2019 and I’m very excited.

New York is one of the most important places in my career. I hope to do my best in every training session and be competitive in the first round,” said Rafael Nadal.

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