Mats Wilander believes that it is «a miracle» that Rafael Nadal has managed to win two Grand Slams with all the challenges he has faced throughout the season. Nadal suffered a surprise exit from the US Open on Monday after Frances Tiafoe handed him a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 loss.
Even before losing to Tiafoe, Nadal was not convincing this fortnight at Flushing Meadows. Before the US Open, Nadal was limited to a single match due to an abdominal injury. Earlier this year, Nadal dealt with foot and rib injuries.
Still, Nadal managed to win the Australian Open and the French Open, while reaching the semi-final at Wimbledon before withdrawing from the tournament due to an abdominal injury.
Wilander: It’s a miracle that Nadal won two Grand Slams this year
«It seemed like Rafa was a bit slow or it could be very difficult to read Frances Tiafoe’s game,» Wilander told Eurosport.
«When you look [Nadal’s second-round opponent] Fabio Fognini and Tiafoe, his forehands are hit with an extremely short and fast backswing. However, we must remember that Rafa has not played enough tennis.
It is a miracle that he has won two Grand Slams this year and reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon. If you look at his year, with the regular season that he had, he actually won two Grand Slams, that’s unbelievable. It was not expected, but I think the players know when Rafa is not one hundred percent.»
After losing to Tiafoe, Nadal suggested that he might take a break from tennis. While Nadal was in New York for the US Open in Spain, his wife was reportedly hospitalized. Nadal, who is expecting his first child later this year, stressed after the Tiafoe match that he has «things in life» to fix.