Rafael Nadal leads ATP Race after two Major titles
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 5335
At 36, Rafael Nadal comfortably leads the ATP Race towards Turin. This year, the Spaniard has won both Major titles, gathering almost 2000 points more than Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas, his closest rivals. Rafa skipped the second part of 2021 due to a foot injury, and he made an impressive comeback this season to get back where he belongs and lead the GOAT race.
Nadal is 30-3 in 2022, stopping the clock and claiming four titles from five finals. The Australian Open and Roland Garros are on the list of conquered events, and Nadal has done that for the first time in his career. Rafa made a comeback at Melbourne's small ATP 250 tournament, not playing at his best but claiming the title to gain confidence.
The Spaniard used it nicely at the Australian Open, keeping his foot under control and reaching the sixth final. Nadal performed an incredible comeback in the title clash against Daniil Medvedev.
Rafael Nadal is the ATP Race leader after Roland Garros.
He trailed 6-2, 7-6, 3-3, 40-0 before overcoming the deficit and prevailing in five hours and 24 minutes.
Nadal conquered Acapulco in February and reached the Indian Wells final in March. Struggling with a fractured rib, Rafa lost to Taylor Fritz in straight sets and took a break until Madrid in May. The king of clay did not play at his best in the Spanish capital, and he struggled even more in Rome versus Denis Shapovalov.
The Spaniard almost retired in the deciding set against the Canadian, and no one could tell would he be able to endure the efforts in Paris. Rafa took his doctor with him to Paris and annulled the foot pain with injections.
That allowed him to perform on a high level and secure the 14th Roland Garros crown from 18 trips to Paris. Nadal defeated four top-10 players in a row en route to the 22nd Major crown, and he stands on 5620 points this season.
A teenager Carlos Alcaraz is second with 3820, claiming two Masters 1000 titles and losing in the Roland Garros quarter-final to Alexander Zverev after a massive battle. Stefanos Tsitsipas is third with 3670, followed by the Roland Garros finalist Casper Ruud.
Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Daniil Medvedev complete the top-8 list, with Novak Djokovic standing ninth.