Rafael Nadal: 'I know he doesn't like a lot to play...'
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 10645
Roger Federer achieved 16 annual top-5s, leaving Jimmy Connors at 14 and raising the bar. Rafael Nadal responded and followed up on his rival's challenge, staying competitive at 36 and scoring his 16th annual top-five season in 2022!
Thus, Nadal joined Federer at the top, with the possibility of passing the Swiss in 2023 and leading the table. Rafa achieved his first top-5 in 2005, at the age of 19. In that year, Nadal won a Major and four Masters 1000. Rafa stayed in the top-5 for 11 straight seasons before losing some ground in 2016.
The Spaniard rebounded in 2017, adding four more years in the top five to his tally to move to 15. Rafa equaled Roger after another reliable performance in 2022 (he missed the second part of 2021 due to injury) at 36 years old.
Nadal continues to be one of the best players in the world, with two Majors and finishing the year in the top two. The veteran claimed his first Australian Open crown since 2009 after an epic victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final after five hours and 24 minutes.
Rafa made a 20-0 start before losing his first match in the Indian Wells final after breaking his left rib in the semi-finals. Nadal missed Monte Carlo and Barcelona and struggled when he returned. Rafa did not play at his best level in Madrid and Rome, and his left foot bothered him again before Roland Garros.
Nadal required injections before every match in Paris to kill the pain and fight for the title. Rafa displayed his magic on clay and defeated Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud to win his 14th Roland Garros crown and 22nd Major.
Nadal was aiming for his first Wimbledon crown since 2010, but it couldn't be. The Spaniard reached the semifinal after an epic victory over Taylor Fritz in five sets. However, he revealed a seven-millimeter abdominal tear that forced him to withdraw before the clash with Nick Kyrgios.
Nadal praises Nick Kyrgios
Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal mentioned that Nick Kyrgios could win any tournament he plays as he has all the required skills and talents. "I know he doesn't like a lot to play Roland Garros.
That's the only tournament that looks like he doesn't like to play that much. The rest of the tournaments, he played final in Wimbledon, and in New York he was close to the finals I think, with a very positive chance," said Rafa.
"He can win in any tournament that he's playing. He has all the talent, the weapons to win against any player. Of course he can," added Nadal.