Rafael Nadal: 'It's a gift'



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Rafael Nadal: 'It's a gift'

Rafael Nadal will finish the season ranked 2nd, winning two Major titles in 2022 and writing history books. At 36, Nadal is the oldest year-end top-2 player, passing Roger Federer and feeling hungry for more in the upcoming years.

Nadal has been among the world's best players since 2005, cracking the top-10 in April of that year and staying there ever since for a record that will take some beating! The Spaniard secured his first Major crown a few days after his 19th birthday and added four Masters 1000 titles to his name to finish the season behind Roger Federer.

Rafa has always been looking for improvements, adding new elements to his game and extending his career despite numerous setbacks and injuries. The Spaniard became more aggressive five years ago, eager to shorten the points and preserve his body.

Nadal skipped the second part of the 2021 season due to a severe foot injury, playing only two matches after Roland Garros and preparing for a fresh start in 2022. As we all know, Rafa turned the tables and kicked off the season with a perfect 20-0 score.

The Spaniard claimed three back-to-back titles, including his first Australian Open crown since 2009 following an epic victory over Daniil Medvedev. Rafa fractured his rib in Indian Wells and skipped Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

Rafael Nadal is pleased with his season.

He returned in Madrid and Rome and did not play at his best, with more foot issues waiting around the corner. Needing injections ahead of every match, Nadal extended his Roland Garros dominance and claimed the 14th Parisian trophy to stand on 22 Major crowns.

It was the last bright moment of Rafa's season, injuring his abdominal muscle at Wimbledon and withdrawing ahead of the semi-final. The Spaniard played only nine more matches by the end of the year, scoring four wins and experiencing four straight defeats for the first time since 2009!

Still, the veteran is pleased with his 2022 campaign, saying it's a gift to finish at such a high position and wishing for more from January. Nadal will kick off the 2023 season at the United Cup in Australia at the end of December.

"If you think about achieving all this at 18, you are super arrogant or dreamy; I'm neither. I'm one of those who breathe the sport daily, trying to build a future from everyday work. One has to live in the present with the best attitude and a good education; each small advance makes you opt for bigger things.

At this point in my career, being where I'm is a gift, but I continue to live this race with the same passion and enthusiasm," Rafael Nadal said.