Former WTA no.35 CiCi Bellis analyzed Rafael Nadal’s prospects in detail.
She said: “As is normal, Rafael Nadal has entered the last phase of his career. Right now, his biggest concern is to protect his physique. Although he’s 36, his level of play is not in question. He won two Grand Slams in 2022, proving he can still beat anyone. His goal is to reach the US Open in top form.”
The Majorcan won only once in Cincinnati back in 2013. Paul Annacone, former coach of Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, spent beautiful words for Rafa: “Over the years, Nadal has gained confidence on all surfaces. Just look at his numbers: 25 titles on hard-courts.
A lot of people still call him a one-dimensional player, but he’s madness. His impressive dominance on clay ended up hiding his strength on other surfaces. He is crazy what he is doing at 36 year-old.”
Rafael Nadal is back on the Tour
Rafael Nadal had a fabulous first part of the season to say the least. The former world number 1 won the first 20 games played in 2022, managing to win two Grand Slams. Despite persistent foot pain, the Spanish phenomenon was able to clinch the Australian Open and Roland Garros.
The 36-year-old from Manacor has thus hoisted himself to 22 Majors, extending over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the all-time ranking. The Serbian has shortened the gap by triumphing on the grass of Wimbledon, but his participation in the US Open is in strong doubt, not being vaccinated against the Coronavirus.
Rafa, for his part, played on the hard courts in Cincinnati on Wednesday night after missing the Canadian Open. The Iberian admitted that he had not yet fully recovered from his abdominal injury, which had forced him to give up the Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios. Nadal was defeated in three sets against Borna Coric.