Rafael Nadal’s exhibition Tour gives him new energy to continue playing longer as ‘Goals’ remain unachieved for the 22-time Grand Slam champion
Rafael Nadal (IMAGO/ Nicolo Campo)
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal had a fantastic first half of the season winning the 2022 Australian Open and the 2022 French Open, his majors number 21 and 22. With the two majors, he became the first man to go past the 20 Grand Slam title mark and now leads the ATP Tour for the most majors won.
Despite injury struggles, Nadal found a way to battle somehow. However, his season turned upside down at the 2022 Wimbledon when he suffered an abdominal tear during his quarter-final match. He had a 7-inch tear that forced him to withdraw from the semi-finals and it had a massive impact on the rest of his season as he could not reach another final.
Nadal’s last official appearance this season came in the 2022 ATP Finals where he exited in the group stages after losing his first two matches. He then went on to defeat Casper Ruud in the dead rubber of a match in the group stage before going on his Latin American Exhibition Tour along with the Norwegian. The tour has however presented enough motivation for Nadal to continue playing.
“For me the main thing right now is to be able to get to the important tournaments in full physical condition. I continue to enjoy day-by-day and I continue to have goals that excite me at a professional level. I’m going to try to achieve them until my body or mind says enough.
“At the moment, that hasn’t happened so I want to continue. I am happy doing what I do, I love competing on the big stages and the love of the people encouraged me to continue,” said Nadal speaking in a press conference during his exhibition Tour.
Rafael Nadal lost only one match on his exhibition Tour
Nadal and Ruud played in 6 different nations during their Tour. They played in Buenos Aires, Santiago, Belo Horizonte, Quito, Bogota, and concluded the Tour in Mexico City. Of the 6 matches, Nadal played 5 against Ruud while the match in Santiago, Chile was played against local lad Alejandro Tabilo by the Spaniard. Nadal won all matches except the one in Quito, Ecuador where Ruud won in straight sets.
Nadal has no more matches lined up for the remaining of the year. He will directly play at the 2023 United Cup leading Spain in the inaugural edition of the mixed-gender tournament that will start on 29th December 2022 in Australia.