With 22 major titles, over 90 ATP trophies and two Olympic gold medals, Rafael Nadal is one of the most successful Spanish athletes. Rafa has won numerous national awards over the last 18 years and represents his country and the right values on and off the pitch.
Nadal has been one of the most famous Spaniards since 2005 and always carries the name of his country with honor and pride. The 36-year-old traveled to Madrid on Tuesday and met Spanish King Filipe VI. at the University of Alcala de Henares.
King Filipe VI presented Rafa with the Camino Real Award for everything he has done to bring Spain and the United States of America closer together. Some of Nadal’s most valuable titles came at Indian Wells and the US Open, with many more good results at the Miami Masters.
Rafa is still competitive at 36 and after numerous setbacks with injuries.
Rafael Nadal received the Camino Real Award in Madrid.
The Spaniard only played two games in the second half of 2021 due to a foot injury and returned stronger in early 2022.
Nadal made an incredible comeback in the Australian Open final against Daniil Medvedev. He was 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 behind before prevailing in five sets after five hours and 24 minutes in the second-longest major final!
With that, the Spaniard claimed his first Australian Open crown in 13 years and received a massive boost. Rafa was feeling good these weeks and conquering the ATP 500 event in Acapulco over Medvedev and Cameron Norrie, staying perfect in 2022 and going to Indian Wells.
Nadal suffered a fractured rib and failed to take a set from Taylor Fritz in the final, suffering the first loss of the season and resting to heal the injury. Rafa skipped his favorite tournaments in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and felt the pain in his foot again in May.
Returning to Madrid and Rome, the Spaniard struggled to play his best tennis and raised dark clouds over his chances at Roland Garros. As so often before, Nadal was a player to beat in Paris. He received injections before every game to ease the pain and secured his 22nd Major title!
Nadal failed to seek his third straight Major title in London and withdrew ahead of the Wimbledon semifinals due to a stomach injury. Skipping Montreal, Rafa suffered an early loss to Borna Coric in Cincinnati. With no form or games, the Spaniard hit the exit door in the US Open fourth-round loss to Frances Tiafoe, dropping many points and having a chance to become world No. 1. 1 at 36. Rafa was set to take part in this weekend’s Laver Cup, Roger Federer’s last tournament of his career.