Whether he is in exceptional form or not, considering Rafael Nadal ‘dead’ is the biggest mistake anyone who thinks of him can make. The Mallorcan did not end well in 2022, as attested, for example, by his performance at the Nitto ATP Finals.
And the disappointing expedition to the newly created United Cup – where he lost the two singles matches against Norrie and De Miñaur – speaks of a Nadal who is also going through the start of this new season far from feeling good.
Despite the latest results, however, the time has come for the 22-time Slam champion to focus on himself at the upcoming Australian Open, which begins in just six days. A scenario, given last year’s extraordinary triumph, capable of revitalizing Nadal, potentially capable of anything.
This is basically the opinion of John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, two former champions who today speak of tennis as experts. The glorious ride of 2022, culminating in a comeback final victory over Daniil Medvedev, relegated Rafael Nadal (again) to history.
The triumph in Melbourne allowed «Toro de Manacor» to surpass his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the number of Slam tournaments won, a record that was further improved in the following months with his success, yet another, at Roland Garros. .
Nadal, and those who share his nature, is a true competition animal, one of those who, despite going through difficulties that seem to leave them out of the game, pull the rabbit out of the hat when the stakes rise.
For all this, the two former champions John McEnroe and Mats Wilander -24 Slams in two between singles and doubles- gave, in statements to Eurosport, all the credit to the Spanish for the Australian Open.
Davenport opens up about Nadal
Lindsay Davenport suggested that Rafael Nadal can never be ruled out of a Grand Slam tournament. «I think he needs a good first week to give him that kind of extra push and confidence to get through the second week,» Davenport said in a recent interview with Tennis Channel.
«We all know he can do it, right? We all know he’s got the ability. I think he needs a couple of games where he plays very well early on in Melbourne, he doesn’t get too tired, right?» get injured, builds that confidence. If you can enter the second week with that kind of belief, then be careful. Everybody knows».