Rafael Nadal has revealed an injury-plagued year saw him play the Indian Wells final with a broken rib and need a nerve in his foot to numb ahead of his French Open victory… and he ‘can’t see’ himself playing 2024
- Rafael Nadal won both the Australian Open and the French Open in 2022
- He became the most prolific winner of the men’s singles grand slam in history
- This victory came despite a litany of injury issues throughout the year
- The Spaniard admitted he ‘can’t see’ himself still playing in 2024
Tennis legend Rafael Nadal opened a year of injury torment in which he won two grand slams despite repeated setbacks.
The 36-year-old finished 2022 with a world-record 22 men’s singles grand slam titles after winning the French and Australian Opens, but also faced many problems throughout the year.
He was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after tearing an abdominal muscle before his semi final against Nick Kyrgios, and played several important games while carrying a serious injury.
Rafael Nadal won a record 14th French Open title at Roland Garros in 2022
He faced a litany of injuries throughout the year and was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon
Reflecting on the year, Nadal felt it was generally positive despite the setbacks, as he told Marca: ‘When I look back at this year, the difficult moments and the injuries will disappear in the background and I will win two Grand slam titles, so the final balance is incredible and very exciting, although also very difficult.’
He also revealed the extent of his injuries throughout the year. Nadal was ‘barely breathing’ before his Indian Wells final against Taylor Frtiz, but still played on thinking it was just a muscle spasm.
After losing the game in straight sets, the Spaniard discovered that he had in fact broken a rib. He would not have played had he known the extent of the injury, and admitted that ‘from there, the year was very difficult.’
The Spaniard also won the Australian Open, making his tally of singles grand slam wins 22.
Nadal also said he ‘couldn’t have’ won his 14th French Open title if not for an injection to numb the nerves in his foot, and felt he was in a ‘very good personal position’ for win Wimbledon before getting injured.
‘Since then the year has been a disaster, because my stomach exploded again a week before the US Open but I didn’t want to say anything at that time because I was tired of saying sorrows,’ he said.
Despite a difficult year for the world number two, he did not put a date on his retirement because ‘things can change quickly.’
The 36-year-old admitted he ‘can’t see’ himself still playing at the 2024 French Open
He hinted that 2023 could be his last year, but said he ‘really doesn’t see’ his career extending to the 2024 French Open.
Nadal is scheduled to travel to Australia after Christmas to play in the United Cup in preparation for the Australian Open.
The grand slam starts in Melbourne on January 16, with the draw expected to take place four days earlier.