Rafael Nadal has experienced a mixture of brilliant results and a series of setbacks in 2022. The 36-year-old is ranked 2nd on the ATP Race list behind Carlos Alcaraz, winning two Major titles and passing Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Nadal made an incredible return at the start of the season after missing the second part of the previous season, lifting his first Australian Open crown in 13 years and rattling off 20 straight wins. Rafa fractured his rib in Indian Wells and had to skip Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
The Spaniard did not play well in Madrid and Rome, and more problems awaited him ahead of Roland Garros. Struggling with foot pain, Rafa needed injections to endure the best-of-five efforts in Paris, winning seven matches and securing his 22nd Major crown.
Hoping for more at Wimbledon, Nadal experienced a nasty abdominal injury, dealing with a seven-millimeter tear and still winning five matches.
Rafael Nadal will take a little break from tennis.
Rafa withdrew ahead of the semi-final clash following an epic duel against Taylor Fritz in the quarter-final, heading home and hoping to recover ahead of the US Open.
As it turned out, there was no time for that, and Nadal suffered the fourth-round loss to Frances Tiafoe. Losing a chance to become world no. 1 again, Rafa returned to Mallorca to spend time with his wife, as they expect their first child in the upcoming weeks.
Nadal flew to London and competed alongside Roger Federer at the Laver Cup on Friday, heading back home the following day and not planning to compete in the next couple of weeks. Rafa wants to sort everything before he starts competing again, eager to welcome his first child and leave an abdominal injury behind him.
"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.