'It’s Rafael Nadal's second home almost', says ATP ace
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 6251
Rafael Nadal amazed everyone in 2022 by winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros, two authentic feats considering that the Spaniard had only played seven official tournaments the previous year. The Spanish champion was unable to shine in the second part of the season, also due to the usual physical problems.
After easing the pain in his foot with the help of Dr. Cotorro, the former ATP number 1 tore his abs at Wimbledon. In addition to not being able to play the semifinal of the Championships against Nick Kyrgios, Rafa showed up at the US Open in less than optimal conditions.
His run in New York was already interrupted in the round of 16 by the hand of the local darling Frances Tiafoe, capable of imposing herself in four sets on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 22-time Grand Slam champion came out prematurely both in Paris-Bercy and at the ATP Finals in Turin, before flying to South America for a series of exhibitions.
2023 did not start in the best way for the Majorcan, who surrendered to Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur at the United Cup. In a press conference during the ATP in Pune, Botic Van De Zandschulp invited fans and work not to underestimate Nadal.
Van de Zandschulp praises Nadal
"In the French Open, I played him (Rafael Nadal) for the first time," Botic van de Zandschulp said during a press conference, in response to a question from Sportskeeda. "I think it was tough conditions to play him for the first time, on clay, at the French, it’s his second home almost.
I was a little bit impressed there and it was tough for me to play against him there. At Wimbledon, I played much better and I even had some chances to take it to a 4th set, and then you never know what happens. So yeah, these were really two nice experiences," van de Zandschulp explained.
Former Australian tennis star Paul McNamee dismissed the chances of Rafael Nadal winning his 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open. “After all, in 2022 he won two grand slam titles, and he became a father for the first time.
That’s a very successful year by any measure. He now sits on a record 22 grand slam titles, one ahead of Djokovic and two ahead of Federer. These particular stats in the GOAT (greatest of all time) race are arguably the most important, but in my opinion the three members of the trinity will all need to be retired before their careers can be evaluated”.