Rafael Nadal claimed two Major titles in 2022 despite many injuries and setbacks. World no. 3 conquered the Australian Open and Roland Garros to pass Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer with 22 Major crowns. Nadal skipped the second part of 2021 due to a foot injury and made an incredible comeback in the current season.
The Spaniard performed a miracle escape against Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final and won 20 matches in a row en route to the Acapulco title and the Indian Wells final. Rafa fractured his rib in the desert and fell to Taylor Fritz in the title match.
More importantly, he skipped his beloved events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and lacked the form in Madrid and Rome. To make things worse, the foot pain was present again, and Nadal was not in a good position ahead of Roland Garros.
The Spaniard brought his doctor to Paris and received foot injections before every match to neutralize the pain and endure the efforts. He did that in style, as many times before, overcoming the most challenging obstacles to regain the trophy lost to Novak Djokovic a year ago.
Thus, Nadal claimed the 14th Roland Garros title and the 22nd Major, becoming the oldest champion in Paris and improving his numbers that no one would match. Rafa overpowered Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev to reach the final, dominating Casper Ruud to lift the trophy and writing history.
Despite that, Rafa thought about retirement at that moment, finding it harder and harder to deal with constant pain and setbacks.
Rafael Nadal thought about retirement after Roland Garros.
He continued with his tennis journey, but more setbacks were just around the corner!
The Spaniard experienced a seven-millimeter abdominal tear at Wimbledon that halted his progress and drained his chances at the US Open. Rafa lost in the fourth round in New York to Frances Tiafoe and missed an opportunity to become world no.
1 at 36. Nadal played one match at the Laver Cup alongside Roger Federer and returned home to Mallorca to be with his wife. Xisca will give a berth in the upcoming weeks, and Rafa wants to be around her. The Spaniard should return to the court before the end of the season when everything goes right with his wife and baby and when he physically recovers to play on the desired level.
"I'm not planning to retire, but I had to admit I almost made that decision in Paris this year. I thought that Roland Garros could be my last tournament. I endured those challenges, and everything has turned into a disaster for me physically for the past three months.
My foot has not been well, and I injured my abdominal at Wimbledon and again in New York. Alongside those setbacks at Majors, there were personal things and problems. Still, I do not feel like thinking about retirement since things are not entirely lost.
I would love to recover physically in the upcoming weeks and to see everything going well in my personal life; that's the priority. I want to organize my life the right way and have a piece of mind in all senses, professional, personal and physical. I can start again after that," Rafael Nadal said.