Rafael Nadal shocked everyone in this first part of the season. The Spanish champion had just returned from a very complicated 2021, in which he had played just seven official tournaments. Arriving in Melbourne without great expectations, the former ATP number 1 has achieved a feat destined to remain in the annals.
Injuries returned before the clay court season began; at first a fracture in a rib and then the pain in his foot did not allow him to arrive at Roland Garros in top form. For the first time since 2004, the Majorcan arrived in Paris without having won titles on his beloved clay court.
The 36-year-old from Manacor did not give up for life and – thanks to the help of Dr. Cotorro – managed to lift his 14th trophy in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. The 22-time Grand Slam champion also participated in Wimbledon, but had to retire on the eve of the semifinal against Kyrgios due to an abdominal tear.
In a recent press conference, professional padel player Paquito Navarro spent beautiful words for Rafa.
Navarro opens up on Nadal
“I see impossible what Rafael Nadal has done. It doesn’t fit in my head that someone has won the Roland Garros title 14 times and the ones that remain because it seems that each time is the last and it’s not.
All the admiration in the world. Rafa is a benchmark, an idol, and now stepping on this track, what he imposes and what makes you tense to play with the entire stands in Paris, gives him even more merit. He has achieved an impossible,” Navarro said.
Recently, to every tennis fan’s misery, Nadal had to walk out of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships owing to an injury. However, even though he was forced out of the tournament, Nadal didn’t lose his natural self.
He left the event following the same customs he has built over the years. According to a Roland Garros staff, Arthur Delaye. “As worker in Roland Garros since 2018, I can say that Rafa is always so kind with the staff. And he takes time to greet every single person at the end of the tournament”.
Delaye wrote. “I love Rafa Nadal because he is a great fighter on the court and the definition of humility off court”. He added. The two times Wimbledon Champion suffered a gruesome abdominal injury while competing against the Indian Wells reigning champion Taylor Fritz.