Mats Wilander thinks it is "a miracle" that Rafael Nadal has managed to win two Grand Slams with all the challenges that he has battled throughout the season. On Monday, Nadal suffered a shock US Open exit after Frances Tiafoe handed him a 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 loss.
Even before losing to Tiafoe, Nadal wasn't convincing this fortnight at Flushing Meadows. Leading up to the US Open, Nadal was limited to just one match due to an abdominal injury. Earlier this year, Nadal dealt with foot and rib injuries.
Still, Nadal managed to win the Australian Open and French Open, while he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon before pulling out of the tournament due to an abdominal injury.
Wilander: It's a miracle that Nadal has won two Grand Slams this year
"It looked like Rafa was either a little bit slow, or it could be that it is very difficult to read Frances Tiafoe’s game,” Wilander said on Eurosport.
“When you look at [Nadal's second-round opponent] Fabio Fognini and Tiafoe, both their forehands are hit with an extremely short and quick back swing. We have to remember though that Rafa hasn’t played enough tennis.
It is a miracle that he has won two Grand Slams this year and reaching the semis at Wimbledon. If you look at his year, with the regular season he had he actually won two Grand Slams – that’s unbelievable. It wasn’t expected, but I think the players know when Rafa isn’t quite at 100 per cent level."
After losing to Tiafoe, Nadal suggested he may take a break from tennis. While Nadal was in New York for the US Open, back in Spain his wife was reportedly hospitalized. Nadal, who is expecting his first child later this year, underlined after the Tiafoe match that he has "life things" he has to fix.