2022 has been and will be a magical year for Rafael Nadal. At the beginning of the year, the physical condition of the Majorcan champion caused great concern and there were even those who doubted the possible return of the tennis player to the courts.
Nadal’s reaction was vehement and the Spaniard conquered almost everything. After months of absence, Nadal first won the Australian Open and then Roland Garros, thus becoming the first tennis player in history to reach 22 Slams in his (male) career.
A record that at the moment seems unattainable for anyone, except for his great rival of all time, Novak Djokovic. Precisely because of him, Rafa does not give up and in a few weeks at the US Open he has the great goal of reaching 23 and giving another gap to the Serbian tennis player, currently stuck at 21 Slams.
This week Rafa will take the field at the Cincinnati tournament and will have, among many other things, the opportunity to be number one in the world again, something that has not happened for a long time. In the event that Rafa wins the tournament and Medvedev does not reach the quarterfinals, the Spaniard could overtake him in the standings.
The Mallorcan will have the Bye assured in the first round since he starts as the number two seed and in the second round he will face the winner of the match between Borna Coric and a qualifier. The Croatian is still not the tennis player he was, so on paper he does not seem like an impossible rival.
Next, a possible derby for Rafa who could face his compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut, not easy in the round of 16.
Rafael Nadal won 22 Grand Slam titles
During his press conference, Rafael Nadal was asked about Carlos Alcaraz’s premature loss in the first round in Montreal against Tommy Paul.
“I know that Carlos is well surrounded, I don’t worry about him. Anyway, I have no advice for Alcaraz about pressure. On the other hand, when you are on the rise, when your ranking is progressing rapidly, you play quietly only with the desire to do well, to do well.
And then one day you realize you’re one of the best players in the world and your focus changes. You think you have to win, that it makes sense to beat a player of lower rank than you. What I can only say is that in tennis, at the end of the week, only one person lifts the trophy. Once you’ve got this right, the famous pressure management is different.»