Rafael Nadal's 2022 was undoubtedly an extraordinary year. The Majorcan champion was coming back from a long and hard injury and many fans questioned his future. Once again, as has often happened throughout his career, Nadal proved everyone wrong, winning big and once again beating his rivals.
Nadal has won several tournaments in 2022, he has been one step away from returning to number one, but above all he has won two Grand Slam titles, the Australian Open and his beloved Roland Garros. The return to Australia, after months of absence, must be counted among the best 'comebacks' in recent tennis history, as Rafa (between one physical problem and another) managed to win in Paris, taking, among other things, a great revenge during the tournament against his great rival Novak Djokovic.
For a few weeks, the fans of the Iberian tennis player came to expect a Grand Slam by completing the entire season with four Slams, but physical problems stopped everything and Rafa retired without entering the court in the Wimbledon semifinal against Australian Nick Kyrgios.
A few days ago we saw Rafa on the court again, we saw him crying as he said goodbye to his friend and longtime rival, Roger Federer. The Swiss said goodbye to the world of tennis and did so by playing a doubles match in the Laver Cup with Rafa Nadal.
Fedal's last great act, an exciting moment for all tennis fans. The numbers that celebrate the greatness and longevity of Rafael Nadal are unquestionable, but this week Rafa achieved another extraordinary achievement in his career.
Rafa had an "extra affinity" towards Federer
Rafael Nadal recalled his rivalry with Roger Federer in a recent interview with Spanish radio station Onda Cero. "It has always been a very healthy rivalry in every way since the beginning of everything, since the first match we played in 2004, if I am not mistaken, in Miami, where I was not yet a rival for him at all, but well, from that moment we had a good feeling.
We first met in 2002 in Wimbledon, at Nike's house," Nadal said, in comments translated from Spanish into English by Twitter user Genny SS. "In the end, we have had a very important sports rivalry but as years go by, especially with people with whom you have an extra affinity, I think that from so many things that you experience together you end up appreciating your rival a lot," he said.