As the French Open is nearing, tennis fans all around are sweating over their favorite tennis icon’s fitness. Rafael Nadal has been out of action since the Australian Open earlier this year. The 14-time French Open champion missed the American Hard-Court swing. He pulled out of three important clay events: Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid Open. He is most likely going to miss the Italian Open as well.
With the way the rankings work nowadays, pulling out of successive tournaments could push the Spaniard down the rankings every week. Earlier this year in the month of March, the 22-time Grand Slam champion dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since 2005. This fall took place as soon as he pulled out of the Indian Wells and dropped a bulk of points as he was the finalist last year at the event.
The new worry amongst Nadal fans now is that he risks dropping out of the top 100 for the first time since April 2003. A reason for this massive drop in the rankings is the fact that the Spaniard will be defending and will risk losing 2000 points this time as he is the defending champion in Paris. After starting as world no. 2 this year, the Spanish superstar is going down the rankings every week. Falling out of the top 10 is quite a shock for the Nadal fan club and dropping out of the top 100 will certainly be humiliating for Nadal.
Struggling with an ongoing Psoas muscle injury, Nadal will be trying every bit to get back on tour to help prevent himself from falling out of the top 100. Last week both his coach, Carlos Moya, and Uncle Toni Nadal said that they were confident that Nadal will make it to Paris. However, both mentioned that not taking part in any warm-up clay event isn’t ideal. They concluded by saying that despite all this, one can’t rule out the ace player, as he has a habit of creating magic on the court. He currently is placed at 14 in the world with 2715 points next to his name.
Look back at Rafael Nadal’s 2022 French Open campaign
Coming into the French Open in 2022, not a lot of people would have pinned their hopes on the 14-time winner to lift yet another title in Paris. The biggest reason was that he had very little tennis on clay before the event, having pulled out of both Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Nadal did show up for Madrid and Rome however, his performances were unsatisfactory considering the levels of greatness the champion had achieved on the surface. However, it is Nadal, the 22-time Slam winner that we are talking about and magic is bound to happen.
What made it really tricky, though, was the fact he was handed possibly the toughest draw one could have imagined. Having to face the likes of Auger-Aliassime, Djokovic and Zverev in back-to-back matches is certainly not for the weak ones. However, Nadal was on a mission to create history. It was the Djokovic match that made people once again believe that the Spaniard had a lot of magic left in him.
Beating the Serb in 4 sets over 4 hours was the performance that defined him. After overcoming Zverev in the semi-final Nadal was the favorite to clinch the title as he battled against a young Casper Ruud. Defeating Ruud wasn’t a very tough task as Nadal lifted the trophy in Paris for the 14th time.
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