2022 has been and will be a magical year for Rafael Nadal. At the beginning of the year, the physical condition of the Majorcan champion caused great concern and there were even those who doubted the possible return of the tennis player to the courts.
Nadal's reaction was vehement and the Spaniard conquered almost everything. After months of absence, Nadal first won the Australian Open and then Roland Garros, thus becoming the first tennis player in history to reach 22 Slams in his career (for men).
A record that at the moment seems unattainable for anyone, except for his great rival of all time, Novak Djokovic. Precisely because of him, Rafa does not give up and in a few weeks at the US Open he has the great goal of going to 23 and giving the Serbian tennis player another gap, currently stuck at 21 Slams.
This week Rafa will take to the court at the Cincinnati tournament and will have, among many other things, the opportunity to return to number one in the world, something that hasn't happened for a long time. In the event that Rafa wins the tournament and Medvedev does not reach the quarter-finals, the Spaniard could overtake him in the standings.
The Majorcan will be guaranteed a Bye in the first round since he starts as the number two seed and in the second round he will face the winner of the match between Borna Coric and a qualifier. The Croatian is still not the tennis player he was, so on paper he doesn't seem like an impossible opponent.
Next, a possible derby for Rafa who could face his compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut, not easy in the round of 16.
Rafa Nadal won 22 Grand Slam titles
During his press conference, Rafael Nadal was asked about Carlos Alcaraz's premature defeat in the first round of Montreal against Tommy Paul.
“I know that Carlos is well surrounded, I don't worry about him. Anyway, I have no advice for Alcaraz about pressure. On the other hand, when you are on the rise, when your ranking is progressing quickly, you play quietly just with the desire to do well, to perform well.
And then, one day, you realize that you are one of the best players in the world and your approach changes. You think you have to win, that it makes sense to beat a lower ranked player than you. What I can only say is that in tennis, at the end of the week, only one person lifts the trophy. Once you have understood this well, the famous pressure management is different."