The 22-time Grand Slam champion has just suffered his maiden loss at the biggest tennis forum this year as he was ousted by the home-favorite Frances Tiafoe in four sets – 4:6, 6:4, 4:6, 3:6. This was Rafael Nadal’s second tournament after withdrawing from Wimbledon before his Semi-Final match against Nick Kyrgios. Borna Coric found the upset over the Spaniard in Cincinnati while Hijikata and Fognini proved his vulnerability in New York by winning a set in the opening rounds.
Nadal certainly ages like a fine wine as he still dominates the world of tennis 21 years after his debut in 2001, as any online sportsbook can attest. The Spanish already have a fantastic career behind him winning 92 ATP titles and became one of four men to complete a double Career Grand Slam following his second trophy in Australia this year. At 36 years of age, he remains one of the most hard-working players on the Tour as he holds a 38-5 record in 2022.
Nadal’s Current Form
His athleticism and core strength are what kept him going all over the course of his career. Unfortunately for him, several injuries kicked in during the last couple of seasons which put his successful career on the line. However, he has managed to bounce back after each minor or major discrepancy in his body, but with time passing, this will become an even tougher task.
Nadal is definitely an injury-prone player due to his playing style and his relentlessness on the court. Considered to be the most invincible clay-court player of all time, he tends to go above and beyond to prove his point on his favorite surface during the summer. Winning 14 Grand Slams at Roland Garros has certainly booked him a spot in the Hall of Fame as he can easily call himself “King of Clay”.
His rivalry with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic made him surpass his limits throughout his career which is the number one reason why we might be witnessing something that may never be repeated ever again in the history of tennis. During the very beginning of his clay-court endeavors, Nadal made a huge statement underlining his dominance on that particular surface by winning 81 straight games which is the longest single-surface win streak since switching to the Open Era in 1968.
During the past couple of seasons, the 36-year-old Spaniard has hinted at retirement after injury issues flared up at numerous tournaments. He is undoubtedly one of those tennis players who will give out 110% on the court, but his chronic pain is what holds him back to unleash his full potential. Therefore, from now on, every day he plays might turn out to be the last time we see him with a racquet in his hands.
Rafa Claims He Was Not Injured After Defeat to Frances Tiafoe
There are several versions around the press concerning his plans for the future, but his top priority remains his professional career. However, he might not be chasing after plenty of records as he found the right recipe to conquer the tennis world, but at the same time, he still shows his love for his favorite sport.
In an interview after his defeat to Frances Tiafoe at the 2022 US Open Championships, Nadal mentioned that he needed to focus on his life before making any decisions regarding his future. The 36-year-old player from Manacor, Mallorca, will have to prioritize his health at the moment and when it’s time for his return, he will eventually announce it.
He also stated that the difference has been evident as he wasn’t able to find his A-game on Tuesday night under the closed roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium. Tiafoe got the better of him as he had no answers to his younger opponent’s aggression. Losing his last three service games has certainly raised several concerns regarding his health, but he will have quite enough time to recover from that.
Nadal’s current situation is similar to what Roger Federer has gone through in the last year. The talented Swiss has been out of the court since 2021 when he lost to Hubert Hurkacz in Wimbledon’s Quarter-Finals. Having in mind Rafa’s rapid age progression, he might eventually need more time to recover before making his comeback in an attempt to cement his tennis legacy as an all-time best.
Being one of the most loved tennis players worldwide, Rafael Nadal’s Academy Centers in Spain, Greece, Kuwait, and Mexico have given many young fans the much-needed passion to continue chasing their goals.
Nadal can easily continue developing his ideas regarding tennis coaching all around the world after retirement.
His “Fundacion Rafa Nadal” has helped numerous people live a better life throughout its years of operation and it will continue to bring hope to childhood and youth, especially after the end of his career.