Former British No. 1 Tim Henman acknowledged that Rafael Nadal would be the best player in 2022 with two Grand Slam victories but noted that the one who plays consistently on a high level week in week is the one that sits at the top spot.
Nadal made an outstanding start to the season, winning titles at the Melbourne Summer Set, Australian Open and Acapulco. Nadal returned to the third spot but sustained a rib stress injury and was forced to miss some time.
Nadal is now fifth ranked as top-ranked Novak Djokovic has just over 3,000 points over the Spaniard. Nadal is having a great 2022 season but he was forced to miss several big events. Nadal has now been through to the French Open final, in which he plays Casper Ruud.
“I understand the way the world ranking system works. If Rafa were to win Roland Garros then with two Slams under his belt this year, he’s definitely been the best player," Henman said on Eurosport, per Tennishead.“But it’s a 52-week period, Rafa hasn’t played quite as much tennis.
At the end of the day the points, the ranking points, don’t lie and whoever comes out on top week in week out thoroughly deserves it”.
Nadal hoping to return to Roland Garros in 2023
Nadal hinted several times this year's Roland Garros could be his final.
After last year's French Open, Nadal played just one more tournament in the rest of the season because of a foot injury. Nadal was able to keep his foot under control at the start of this season but now he is again experiencing problems.
"I am confident and I trust I can return [to Roland-Garros]," Nadal said. “I accept things as they come, I have no intention of making it seem like a farewell. We keep working to find a solution to my foot injury.
My intention is to return to Roland-Garros next year." Some think Nadal will likely take an extended break after the clay season and skip Wimbldon.