Rafael Nadal played only two matches after the last year’s Roland Garros, wrapping up the year in August following a severe foot injury. Rafa injured his troubled foot again in the Roland Garros semi-final against Novak Djokovic, struggling for the rest of the season and looking for a fresh start in 2022.
As many times before, Nadal raised above the issues and made a perfect start to the season with 20 wins from as many encounters! Rafa claimed his first Australian Open crown since 2009 following an epic comeback against Daniil Medvedev in the final.
The Spaniard lifted another trophy in Acapulco and reached the Indian Wells final. Rafa fractured his rib in the semi-final and fell to Taylor Fritz in the title match for his first loss in 2022. Nadal skipped his beloved events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
The king of clay lacked form in Madrid and Rome and failed to reach the semi-final. To make things worse, the foot pain was present again, and Nadal was not in a good position ahead of Roland Garros. Rafa lost to Denis Shapovalov in the third round at Foro Italico, almost retiring in the third set and leaving Rome limping!
Rafael Nadal gathered dark clouds over his head before Roland Garros.
The Spaniard brought his doctor to Paris and received foot injections before every match to neutralize the pain and endure the best-of-five efforts!
He did that in style, as many times before, overcoming the most challenging obstacles to regain the trophy lost to Novak Djokovic a year ago. Rafa overpowered Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final and built a tight lead against Alexander Zverev before the German retired after three hours of an epic battle.
Nadal advanced to his 14th Roland Garros final and toppled Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 for the 22nd Major crown! Rafa spoke about Roland Garros in his recent interview and stated he would not have had a chance in Paris without doctors.
They killed the pain in his foot, and the king of clay did the rest on the court, backed by the Australian Open success. “I left Rome limping. If the doctors had not found the solution to numb the nerve in my foot and remove the pain, I would not have had a chance at Roland Garros.
My preparation was far from good, but the confidence was there after winning the Australian Open,” Rafael Nadal said.