Rafael Nadal will finish the season inside the top-2, becoming the oldest player to achieve that since the start of the ATP ranking in 1973! Despite injuries and setbacks throughout his career, Nadal is still hungry to show his best tennis and fight for notable titles in the next couple of years. Rafa became a father in October and still wants to combine his personal and professional life, rejecting the retirement calls and wishing for a few more years on the Tour. The Spaniard claimed four ATP titles in 2022, making a perfect start after a 20-0 score and delivering his first Australian Open crown since 2009. Nadal conquered Acapulco before fracturing his rib in Indian Wells, reaching the final but losing it to Taylor Fritz in straight sets. The veteran skipped his favorite events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and lost crucial points in the year-end no. 1 battle.
Rafa returned to action in May and failed to impress in Madrid and Rome. He experienced early losses and gathered dark clouds over his Roland Garros chances. With a foot injury bothering him again, Nadal needed injections to endure all the efforts in Paris. The king of clay defeated Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud for his 14th Roland Garros title, extending his incredible legacy. Hoping for more at Wimbledon, Rafa advanced into the last four despite a seven-millimeter abdominal tear. The Spaniard prevailed over Taylor Fritz in the quarter-final in a five-setter and withdrew ahead of the Nick Kyrgios clash.
Rafael Nadal is not ready to end his career.
Nadal needed months to recover, experiencing an early US Open loss to Frances Tiafoe and staying away from the court for two months. Rafa returned at the Paris Masters, seeking form and momentum but falling in the second round to Tommy Paul. Eager to get more matches by the end of the year, the Spaniard entered his 11th ATP Finals and fell to Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime. With no rhythm or encounters in his legs, Rafa lost the crucial points and embraced four consecutive losses for the first time since 2009! The legend changed that in the season’s last match, beating Casper Ruud 7-5, 7-5 to deliver his first victory as a father and wrap up the season in a winning way.
“I’m pretty realistic, and the moment will come when it has to. I’m prepared for a life outside of tennis. It will not be a problem for me beyond adapting to all the changes and assimilating things. I have many important things that make me happy beyond tennis. Tennis has been an essential part of my life, but others are equally or more important. I do not think my retirement will come in the near future,” Rafael Nadal said.