Rafael Nadal is still unbeaten in 2022, having won the first 17 games played. This formidable start to the season earned him three trophies, including the Australian Open. The former world number 1 made a memorable ride in Melbourne Park, finally finding some luck in a tournament that had often been hostile to him in the past.
After winning his first title back in 2009, the Spanish phenomenon had lost the next four finals played (two against Novak Djokovic, one against Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka). Fresh from a long stop due to injury and far from top form, Rafa had come to Australia without great expectations.
With the passing of the shifts, the 35-year-old from Manacor found the right automatisms by surviving two terrible battles against Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini. In the final he achieved yet another masterpiece, recovering two sets from Daniil Medvedev and winning fifth.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion - competing this week in the Indian Wells Masters 1000 - has already announced that he will not compete in the Miami Open.
Rafa on his withdrawal from the upcoming Miami Masters
"I haven't played Miami for the last couple of years.
I'm almost 36. I played much more than what I expected at the beginning of the season. For my body, it is not good to have quick transitions from different surfaces," Rafael Nadal said. "If I play Miami, I will not have time to rest and not time to make a swift transition to the clay."
The 21-time Grand Slam champion claimed that by withdrawing from Miami, he would have three weeks to prepare for the start of his favorite clay season. "I had to push very since the beginning, so that's dangerous for my foot, for my knees.
I need to make that transition step by step," he said. "I cannot make drastic changes like I did in the past, so that's why I decided to stop after here and have three weeks before the clay court season starts for me."
Rafael Nadal recently gave his two cents on the controversial heckling incident involving Naomi Osaka at the 2022 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. "Even if it is terrible to hear that, we need to be prepared for it. We need to resist these kind of issues that can happen when you are exposed to the people," Nadal said.
"[Just] as we like it a lot when people are supporting [us], when something like this happens, we need to accept it and move forward. Nothing is perfect in this life. We need to be ready for adversities."