Rafael Nadal today is a complete tennis player

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Rafael Nadal today is a complete tennis player

Rafael Nadal is on the hunt for his 21st career Grand Slam. If he were to triumph at the Australian Open 2022, the Spanish champion would overtake Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time rankings of the Majors. The former world number 1 won only once in Melbourne back in 2009, but he has every intention of selling his skin dearly.

The 35-year-old from Manacor is back from a very complicated 2021, in which he had to manage a serious foot injury. Rafa played just seven official tournaments last year, but managed to score a couple of trophies on his beloved clay court.

The Majorcan failed to attack his 14th Roland Garros, losing to Djokovic in the semifinals. Foot pain forced him to give up on Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open. Nadal has delivered convincing performances to the AOs so far.

Denis Shapovalov who surprisingly eliminated Alexander Zverev was defeated after a great match by Nadal. In a recent interview with L’Equipe, former Roland Garros director Guy Forget analyzed the progress of the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

Nadal pursues his 21st Grand Slam

"The thing that most impresses me about Rafael Nadal is the fact that today he is perfectly capable of playing all the strokes of tennis," explained Forget. "He knows how to hit the ball in any way he can and from any position on the pitch.

He uses the short ball much more frequently and does not disdain some net runs when you least expect it. In the past, his gameplay was pretty fixed. He used his forehand to pin his opponent on the left side and won games in this way.

Now his tennis is more varied and unpredictable, not forgetting the notable improvements of his backhand. He can play it both crossed and along the line without any problem," he added. Nadal won his last Grand Slam at Roland Garros 2020, clearly beating Djokovic in the final. The Serbian took his revenge the following year, inflicting his third ever defeat in the French capital on Rafa.