Rafael Nadal has played very little in this second half of the season, due to an abdominal injury and the birth of his first child. However, the Spanish phenom took enormous satisfaction in 2022, winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros despite persistent foot pain.
The former World No. 1 also tried to win his third Wimbledon title, but an abdominal tear prevented him from playing the semi-final against Nick Kyrgios. The 36-year-old man from Manaco was also not at his best at the US Open, where he was eliminated in the round of 16 by host Frances Tiafoe.
After a long break, Rafa returned to action at Paris-Bercy last week. His run in the last 1000 of the season ended already in the second round against Tommy Paul. The 22-time Slam champion hopes to shine at the ATP Finals in Turin, one of the few tournaments he has yet to win.
The Iberian has been placed in the ‘Green Group' alongside Casper Ruud, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Taylor Fritz. In the latest edition of the ‘Court-Side with Beilinson Tennis' podcast, well-known journalist Steve Flink analyzed Rafa's chances in Turin.
“Rafael Nadal has repeatedly insisted on the need to play more matches. He came to Italy early to play a lot of training sets, but it's not like playing real matches. The training sets help you, but the competition is something else.
It is a pity that Rafa could not go further in Paris-Bercy, he would have been very useful for the ATP Finals.
Rafa had injuries in 2022
Carlos Moya said that Rafael Nadal did not strike him as being more gifted than other players his age when he met him for the first time.
“He asked me if I’d warm up with him. I did, for about an hour. Now, to be honest, he did not strike me as being singularly more gifted than other players of his age. I did see he was very combative, though what was more surprising was how incredibly shy he also was.
We met and shook hands, but he didn’t even look at me and uttered barely a syllable,” Moya said. “It’s true he was probably a bit overawed, since I’d made a bit of a splash in the media after making it, unseeded, to the Australian Open final earlier that year.
But the contrast was still striking—shocking, actually—between the timid little boy off court and the super-competitive kid on it, even though we were just rallying, not even playing points,” he added.
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