Rafael Nadal was not considered the main favorite at Roland Garros 2022, but he wrote yet another page of history by overturning the predictions of the eve. After the premature eliminations in Madrid and Rome, few believed that the Spanish champion could win again in Paris.
The 36-year-old from Manacor has been heavily affected by foot pain in recent weeks, so much so that his participation in the second major of the season was even questioned. Thanks to a series of infiltrations and the help of his doctor, the former world number 1 has accomplished the umpteenth feat of his extraordinary career.
Rafa thus hoisted himself to 22 Grand Slams, further stretching Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time ranking. Once back in Spain, Nadal immediately went to Barcelona to see Doctor Cotorro to undergo a new foot treatment.
His hope is to be able to recover in time for Wimbledon, which begins on Monday 27 June. Speaking in the latest edition of the podcast ‘The AO Show’, Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said wonderful words for the Majorcan.
Tiley praises Rafa Nadal
“I mean Rafael Nadal’s Hercules! There’s just nothing else you can say about him, and I think he even surprises his own team. He will go down as one of if not the greatest of the game and he’s still got more to come,” Tiley said during the chat.
The 36-year-old defeated Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively, before dominating an in-form Casper Ruud in the final. “So for him to do that and get through that draw, to win it and win it as convincingly as he did in the finals, is honestly remarkable,” Tiley said.
“Well interestingly while talking to Rafa’s team over the last couple of days, they’re just as surprised as the rest of us are, because never did Rafa himself think that,” said Tiley. “Last year in November he was staring into being off the game for atleast six months because of his foot injury and he trained in November December, wasn’t making much progress but decided anyway to come to Australia and then ended up winning the Australian Open , and got 21 slams and to be ahead of Novak and Roger,” Tiley said.
Currently, many will maintain that there will be a clear favorite according to different surfaces, like hard courts favor the Serb and the clay courts are best suited to the Spaniard. However, the clashes between them used to be unpredictable back in the early 2000s, and so was their behavior.