Nadal opens up on year of injury hell despite winning two grand slams

Rafael Nadal reveals a year of injury hell that saw him play the Indian Wells final with a broken rib and requiring a nerve in his foot to be numbed ahead of his French Open triumph… and he ‘doesn’t see’ himself playing in 2024

  • Rafael Nadal won both the Australian Open and the French Open in 2022
  • He became the most prolific winner of men’s singles grand slams in history
  • This achievement came in spite of a litany of injury issues throughout the year 
  • The Spaniard has admitted he ‘doesn’t see’ himself still playing in 2024 

Tennis legend Rafael Nadal has opened up on a year of injury torment that saw him win two grand slams despite repeated setbacks. 

The 36-year-old ends 2022 with a world-record 22 men’s singles grand slam titles after winning the French and Australian Opens, but also faced a number of 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 a number of important games while carrying serious injuries.

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 had been a positive one overall despite the setbacks, as he told Marca: ‘When I look back on this year, the difficult moments and the injuries will fade into the background and I will have won two Grand Slam titles, so the final balance is fantastic and very exciting, although also very suffered.’

He also revealed the extent of his injuries across the year. Nadal could ‘barely breathe’ ahead of his Indian Wells final against Taylor Frtiz, but played anyway assuming it was just a muscle spasm.

After losing the game in straight sets, the Spaniard discovered he had in fact broken a rib. He ‘wouldn’t have played’ if he’d known the extent of the injury, and admitted ‘from there, the year was very difficult.’

The Spaniard also won the Australian Open, taking his tally of singles grand slam wins to 22

Nadal also claimed he ‘would not have been able’ to win his 14th French Open title if it weren’t for an injection to numb a nerve in his foot, and that he felt he was a in a ‘very good personal position’ to win Wimbledon before getting injured. 

‘From then on the year has been a disaster, because I ruptured my abdominal again the week before the US Open but I didn’t I wanted to say anything at the time because I’m tired of telling sorrows,’ he said.

Despite a demanding year for the world number two, he did not put a date on his retirement as ‘things can change very quickly.’

The 36-year-old has admitted he ‘doesn’t see’ himself still playing at the 2024 French Open

He did hint that 2023 may be his last year though, saying he ‘really doesn’t see’ his career stretching to the 2024 French Open.

Nadal is set to travel to Australia after Christmas to play in the United Cup as preparation for the Australian Open.

The grand slam will get underway in Melbourne on January 16, with the draw expected to take place four days earlier.

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