Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has been named on Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people of 2022 for his incredible achievements on the tennis court. He is the only male tennis player to feature on the list and only the second player apart from Peng Shuai. Amidst the 6 sub-categories, he is named under ‘Icons’.
The other people to feature in ‘Icons’ apart from Nadal are Mary Blige, Dmitry Muratov, Issa Rae, Keanu Reeves, Adele, Maya Lin, Jon Batiste, Nadine Smith, Peng Shuai, and Hoda Khamosh. In fact, no other sportsperson other than Nadal and Shuai has made the list this year.
7-time NFL champion Tom Brady addressed Nadal’s inclusion and said that he admires athletes who push themselves and also called the Spaniard one of the best athletes in all of the sports.
“I admire athletes who push themselves to the limit, and I’m absolutely inspired every time Rafa takes the court. There’s something to be learned from watching his determination, his strategy, everything that it takes for him to never take any moment for granted. He’s forever going to be remembered as one of the very best athletes in all of the sports,” Brady wrote.
A glimpse at Rafael Nadal’s incredible season so far
Nadal was staging a comeback this year and decided to play a small tournament ahead of the Australian Open. He played and won the Melbourne Summer Set to test his level ahead of the Australian Open and won the tournament. He then scripted history at the Australian Open by becoming the first man ever to win 21 major titles. He came from 2 sets down in the final to beat Daniil Medvedev.
Nadal then followed his title triumph in Melbourne by winning the Mexican Open a couple of weeks later. The Spaniard won the tournament without dropping a single set to make it a hat-trick of tour level titles. Nadal then also reached the final of the Indian Wells Masters. And courtesy of this dream start, he was named in the most influential people of the world.