Rafael Nadal: 'We Want To Have The Best Field Possible'

‘We want to have the best field possible’

Rafael Nadal will begin his 16th US Open campaign on Tuesday against wild card Rinky Hijikata. Rafa returns to New York for the first time since 2019, when he floored Daniil Medvedev in that memorable five-set match. Nadal is the second seed behind Daniil Medvedev and one of the favorites, especially after a relatively easy run to the semi-final.

The Spaniard could become the world number 1 after the US Open for the first time in two and a half years, especially if his main rivals do not reach the final. Rafa is happy with his level on the training court, raising it every day after dealing with an abdominal injury for more than a month.

Nadal made the best start to the season of his major league career after winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros. The Spaniard headed to London with the desire to win the first Wimbledon since 2010. Even so, an abdominal injury prevented him from performing at 100%.

Rafa struggled in the early rounds, unable to impose his shots and earn free points on his serve. Giving his 100%, Nadal overcame injury and Taylor Fritz in an epic quarterfinal match that went all the way. Rafa reached his third consecutive Wimbledon semi-final, facing Nick Kyrgios for a place in the title clash.

Nadal checked his injury and revealed a seven-millimeter tear in his muscle, withdrawing from Wimbledon and heading home to Mallorca. Rafa returned to the practice court after adequate rest, but continued to feel the pain serving and decided to miss Montreal.

Rafa Nadal on Djokovic’s absence

Novak Djokovic’s absence from US Open 2022 has been the talk of the town in recent days, but Rafael Nadal feels that should not be the case. «Well, somehow we know that Novak won’t play for a while if nothing changes rule-wise, right? We’ve known that for months.

From my personal point of view, it’s very sad news,» he said. «It’s always a shame when the best players in the world can’t play a tournament because of injuries or for different reasons. Not having one of the best players in history in the Grand Slam draw is always an important miss, right? Like I said, tough for the fans, tough for the tournament,» Nadal said. «In my opinion, tough for the players too, because we want to have the best field possible.»

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