Rafael Nadal is in full swing to deliver the 'Calendar Grand Slam' The Spanish phenomenon played an exceptional first part of the season, forfeiting the first two Majors of 2022 and leaving everyone speechless. Fresh from a long stop due to injury, the former world number 1 broke the bank at the Australian Open.
In a tournament that had often been hostile to him in the past, the Majorcan came back two sets behind Daniil Medvedev in the final. The 36-year-old Iberian repeated himself at Roland Garros, despite the pain in his foot and a draw that was anything but favorable.
Thanks to a series of infiltrations, the Manacor veteran managed to lift his 14th trophy in Paris. The 22-time Grand Slam champion is busy at Wimbledon, where he will challenge Taylor Fritz for a place in the semifinals. The two have already met this year in the final of the Indian Wells Masters 1000, which the American won by surprise.
In a recent interview, Todd Martin - CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame - analyzed Rafa's chances of writing yet another page of history.
Todd Martin on Rafa Nadal
"I thought Novak Djokovic was going to win the Calendar Slam last year in New York.
Generally, it seems to me he doesn't enjoy the pressure, but he can fight against it very well. I had a feeling that the pressure was going to bring out that 'There is absolutely no way I'm losing this' mentality from him, but it didn't happen, and Medvedev played great as well," said Todd Martin.
"Long-term, Rafael Nadal is so focused on that process: what do I have to do today, what do I have to do right now. That's the way he thinks and in my mind, he has the best attitude necessary for the Calendar Slam.
This place can make anyone nervous, but maybe Nadal won't feel it because of the way he thinks," he added. Nadal, by winning the Australian Open trophy, broke the three-way tie of 20 Grand Slam victories between him, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Following that, he claimed the title at Acapulco and furthered his winning streak to 15. Then the Spaniard suffered a rib injury in the semifinals of the Indian Wells. Thus, marking an end to his winning streak of 20 matches.
Thereafter, Nadal geared up for the clay court season. Though he suffered some minor bumps in events leading up to Roland Garros, the 36-year-old shined in the red dirt of Paris.