‘I knew that Rafael Nadal would be hitting that foot out with…’, says analyst

Things did not look good for Rafael Nadal after Roland Garros last year. The Spaniard lost the title to Novak Djokovic, who joined him and Roger Federer at the top of the GOAT race. All three legends had 20 Major crowns at the end of the previous season, and Novak was the favorite to take the lead at the start of 2022. Instead, Nadal has won all 14 matches at Majors this year to conquer the Australian Open and Roland Garros and get away from your closest rivals. For many, Rafa is the best player of all time after his 22nd Major title, and Stan Wawrinka is in that group. The Swiss praised the Spaniard after Rafa’s 14th Roland Garros title and called him the GOAT. Rafa arrived in Paris out of shape and with foot problems, taking his doctor with him and receiving injections before each match. Nadal got off to a solid start and defeated three opponents in straight sets to conserve energy. Rafa experienced his first formidable opponent in the fourth round, when Felix Auger-Aliassime put him under pressure for five sets. The Canadian claimed sets one and four to stay in touch before the Spaniard went one step further in the decider to reach the round of 16. In another clash of tennis legends, Nadal dethroned Novak Djokovic 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6 in four hours and 12 minutes to earn a spot in the semi-finals. Rafa was a more determined player, hitting nearly 60 winners, taking the lead in three of the four sets. Novak came back from 3-0 down in the second to win 6-4 after almost an hour and a half, before Rafa restored order in the third. The Serb served for the fourth set at 5-3 and wasted two set points.

Rafa Nadal made history

On the latest edition of her show, ‘The Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast,’ the 51-year-old said she that knew what was going to happen when Rafael Nadal got his doctor along to Paris. “You know just to see Rafa again, find a way, with literally a dead foot – I knew when he said that he was bringing his doctor to the French Open, I knew exactly was going to be happening. I knew that he would be hitting that foot out with as much painkiller and anaesthetic that he could, to be able to operate on the tennis court and run,” Stubbs said, adding, “You know to see what he did by winning the tournament again is just outrageous.” Stubbs described the quarterfinal match as an “unbelievable” and “memorable” clash between the “two greatest players of all time.” “Of course he has to play Novak in the quarterfinals, one that was truly unbelievable, once again memorable match between two greatest players of all time,” Stubbs said.