Rafael Nadal Australian Open 2022

‘Not in a million years’ – Rafa Nadal resurgence shocks former World number one

Grand Slam legend Mats Wilander claims that Rafa Nadal’s unbeaten run is nothing short of miraculous, ahead of the 35 year old’s hunt for a record-equaling 37th Masters title this week.

The World number four Rafa Nadal is having his best ever start to a season in his career, having won the Melbourne Summer Set, the Australian Open and the Mexican Open, reaching a record of 15-0 for 2022.

This week’s Indian Wells Masters is an opportunity for the Spaniard to extend his winning streak. If he is able to win the tournament, it would be his fourth title in California and he would also hold the record for the third longest unbeaten start to a season in the Open era. Only Djokovic would hold longer unbeaten runs as he went 26-0 in 2020 and 41-0 in 2011.

What makes Nadal’s remarkable start to the year even more impressive is that he was injured for the last 5 months of 2021 and wasn’t even sure when he was going to be able to return. He even admitted that he was dealing with the injury on a ‘day by day’ basis during the Australian Open. 

Speaking to Eurosport, former seven time major winner Mats Wilander cannot believe the comeback Rafael Nadal has made. “Obviously, he is turning 36 during the French Open, and it would be amazing if he can keep this up when we really thought last year that this was very close to being the end of Rafa’s career,”

“He thought himself it could be close to the end of his career. I would never imagine that he would be able to do what he is doing, even though he would always be playing physically. No, not in a million years would I have thought that Rafa Nadal could do that, not this part of the year.  Now we are back to Rafael Nadal, the ageless clay court king. I mean, he is closer to 16 years old than he is 36 years old emotionally, and that is where he separates himself from the others in the ‘big three’, I have to say.”

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