22-time Major champion Rafael Nadal hit the training court in Paris ahead of the final Masters 1000 of the season. Nadal arrived in Paris on Wednesday and added a practice session on Thursday, working on his game and hoping to chase the missing title next week.
Rafa has not played singles matches following the US Open fourth-round loss to Frances Tiafoe, dealing with an abdominal injury since Wimbledon. Nadal returned to his home in Mallorca after New York, welcomed his first child and trained on the training track against Paris in Turin.
The World No. 2 skipped the second half of 2021 following a foot injury and made a surprising comeback in 2022. The 36-year-old is second in the ATP Rankings list, behind compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, and has won two major titles and beat his biggest rivals, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
However, the Spaniard had to skip some of his favorite tournaments during the clay court cycle, running out of steam and not playing well in Madrid and Rome. Nadal left all obstacles behind at Roland Garros, playing with injections in his feet and defeating seven rivals to lift the 14th Parisian trophy.
Rafa was a Wimbledon semi-finalist but was unable to fight Nick Kyrgios. The Spaniard revealed a seven-millimeter tear to his abdomen and left the tournament after an epic quarter-final victory against Taylor Fritz in five sets.
Nadal skipped the Canada Masters and suffered an early loss in Cincinnati.
Maldonado on Rafa Nadal
Rafael Nadal is past his peak despite winning two Grand Slam titles this season, according to Pamela Maldonado, a leading sports betting analyst.
«I don’t think we’ll ever see the peak of Nadal again,» Pamela Maldonado said on an episode of the Tennis Channel: Inside-In podcast. «I think those days are over… he’s going to start to become a thing where what he did to his body this year, when he got the injection to go to Roland Garros, that’s not sustainable.» .
That’s not something I can repeat year after year and have longevity in this sport,» he added. Rafa couldn’t play at his best in New York, out of form and out of games, still feeling the pain and leaving early against Frances Tiafoe despite to give your best.
Nadal played alongside Roger Federer in the Laver Cup and went home the next day, still competing far from his best. The Spaniard used the previous weeks to improve his game and get in shape for Paris and Turin, as he had never won these tournaments and he hoped to change that in the coming weeks.