Former world No. 1 Martina Navratilova believes a fully healthy and prepared Rafael Nadal would win this year’s French Open.
Nadal, a record 13-time French Open champion, was hampered by a foot issue at last year’s French Open and he ended up losing in the semifinal to Novak Djokovic.
Nadal put an end to his 2021 in August to focus on recovering from a nagging foot issue.
“If Rafael Nadal is healthy in 2022 and his foot is back to normal, I still think he will win the French Open,” Navratilova said on Tennis Channel, per Sportskeeda. “But I don’t think he can win anything else. The other guys are getting too good. I just hope he is healthy.”
In a recent interview, David Ferrer stated Nadal could even win this year’s Australian Open.
“At the moment, Djokovic is playing well and he is healthy, but I [also] think Rafael Nadal has a chance to win the Australian Open, for sure,” Ferrer told Sky Sports.
Nadal having a strong preparation
Nadal tested positive for COVID-19 last month and he revealed he went though a couple of difficult days.
“I have been going through very challenging times for four or five days,” Nadal said. “They’ve been tough, and after that I felt so tired, and I had fever. I had to be on the bed for a couple of days without having the chance to move much because I was very sick with fever, and one of the toughest symptoms that I had in my life in terms of flu.
“Then I decided when my PCR was negative, I decided to come here as soon as possible because that’s in my opinion the better way mentally and physically to try to recover and to be ready and to adapt myself to the conditions here in Australia.”
After recovering from COVID-19, Nadal kicked off his season at this week’s Melbourne Summer Set, where he has been through to the final.