Rafael Nadal won two Major titles this year, achieving that for the first time since 2019 and securing his first Australian Open – Roland Garros combo. Rafa came from the verge of defeat against Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final, trailing 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 before performing one of his most notable comebacks to prevail after five hours and 24 minutes. Carried by this momentum, the Spaniard endured all the setbacks at his beloved Roland Garros and claimed his 14th Parisian trophy and the 22nd Major title. It was the proudest moment of Rafa’s season, heading to Paris with no form and severe foot pain. Nadal needed injections ahead of every match, and he passed all the obstacles to increase his incredible Roland Garros record to 112-3! Nadal kicked off his 18th Roland Garros campaign with solid victories over Jordan Thompson, Corentin Moutet and Botic Van De Zandschulp for a place in the last 16.
He beat all three in straight sets to avoid spending more time on the court ahead of more serious rivals. The Spaniard faced Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round and had to give his 120% to prevail. The Canadian took sets one and four to force Rafa’s rare five-setter in Paris. The more experienced player shifted into a higher gear to emerge at the top and reach the last eight after almost four and a half hours. Things were about to get even more difficult for Nadal two days later, with world no. 1 Novak Djokovic waiting on the other side of the net. After a massive battle, Rafa delivered a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 triumph in four hours and 12 minutes to dethrone the Serb and book a place in the semis. Djokovic gave his best in sets two and four and had two set points at 5-3 to force a decider.
Rafael Nadal won his 14th Roland Garros title in June.
Nadal denied them, broke back and clinched the tie break 7-4 to emerge at the top. Alexander Zverev pushed him even harder in the semi-final, and the second set was still alive when they passed the three-hour mark! Nadal fended off four set points in the opener and erased the deficit in the second despite losing serve four times for 7-6, 6-6. Zverev had to retire after injuring his right ankle, leaving the court in tears and sending Nadal into his 14th Roland Garros final. Casper Ruud tried to prevent Rafa’s 14th title, but it was not to be for the young Norwegian in his first Major final. Rafa scored a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 victory in two hours and 18 minutes, taming his strokes nicely and breaking the younger opponent eight times to control the scoreboard and earn the season’s second Major crown.
“Each title is different, and you enjoy each match in a particular way. I experienced exciting moments this season after winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros. It has been an excellent year but challenging at the same time due to physical issues. Winning the 22nd Major crown at Roland Garros was an unforgettable moment for me after all the problems I had during those two weeks,” Rafael Nadal said.