‘Rafael Nadal will continue to fight until…’, says former No.1

At the start of the 2020 season, Rafael Nadal was 840 points ahead of Novak Djokovic at the top of the ATP ranking list, with two great rivals dominating the rest of the Tour in 2019. Rafa and Novak took all four Major titles and four Masters 1000 events in 2019, pushing each other to the limit and establishing the battle for world number one for the ATP Finals. Djokovic claimed the title in Paris to add 1000 points to his tally, looking good to beat Nadal in London, but was unable to do so after both lost in the free-for-all stage, leaving the Spaniard at No. 1 player by fifth time in his career. Driven by this impulse, Rafa also claimed the crown of the Davis Cup final for Spain at the Caja Mágica in Madrid and concluded the year with another trophy at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships. Ready to bounce back, Djokovic swept all opponents in early 2020, scoring all 13 wins in Australia and collecting 2,665 points to pass Rafa and regain the ATP throne. In the ATP Cup, the Serbian led his country to the inaugural title, beating Nadal in the final and scoring 665 points for six victories. Djokovic needed a remarkable result at the Australian Open to become world number one again, without Nadal reaching the semi-final.

Wilander talks about Rafael Nadal

Weighing in on the news of Rafael Nadal’s latest setback, seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander said he was “sad and very worried” about the Spaniard’s condition. According to Wilander, Nadal may never be able to win big tournaments again. “I am very sad and very worried but I do think he [will] keep coming back until he no longer can,” Wilander told Eurosport. At the moment the will to play is still there. The era of winning may be over, but the era of filling stands with fans is still alive. There’s a couple more years of it.” According to Wilander, Nadal’s body is taking a “beating” with each passing year on the ATP Tour. “We are getting used to expecting him to not be able to play. He is always trying and is always ready,” he said. He is trying but he just can’t do it and I guess with every year it seems like he’s playing less and less. He is getting older and his body is taking a beating.” Rafael Nadal is currently tied with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on 20 Major titles. 13 of those Grand Slam crowns have come at Roland Garros, where the Spaniard boasts a mind-boggling 105-3 win-loss record.