Rafael Nadal French Open 2022

‘Only Rafa Nadal’ can keep recovering so quickly, gushes top analyst

Former world number two Alex Corretja has labelled the accomplishments of Rafael Nadal in 2022 as “a miracle” following the Spaniard’s injury problems. 

Rafael Nadal has faced a spate of injuries, most notably his cracked rib sustained at the Indian Wells Masters in March which forced him to miss the majority of the European clay court swing.

Nadal returned at the Madrid Masters however he sustained another injury set back just a week later at the Rome Open.

Last month, the 35-year-old admitted following his shock last 16 his loss to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov that he is “living” with a persistent foot injury – the same injury which kept him out at the end of the 2021 season.

Despite speculation and worry over his participation at the French Open, the ‘King of Clay’ lived up to his nickname as he claimed a record 14th Roland Garros title.

The triumph in Paris meant it was Nadal’s second Major title of the year after his victory at the Australian Open as well as it being a record 22nd Grand Slam title.

Nadal is now preparing for Wimbledon as he looks to become the first man since Rod Laver to complete a Calendar Slam.

Discussing Nadal’s season so far, renowned pundit and former French Open finalist Alex Corretja claimed that “only Rafa” could continue to recover physically with so little rest after all the injury problems he has had to contend with.

Speaking to Eurosport, the Spaniard said, “I feel like 2022 for Rafa, it’s a miracle, since the very beginning of the year.

“After winning the first tournament, then the first Slam, he then got hurt again and he didn’t have that much time for preparation for Roland-Garros.

“He then ended up winning, and one week later, or two weeks later, I thought, ‘okay, maybe he needs time to rest, he needs time to recover’. Again, now, he is ready to go and try to play at Wimbledon.

“I feel like only Rafa can do that, honestly, because all the ups and downs physically that he had he overcame them. It shows how humble he is, and how much desire he has to keep on going.

“I don’t think he feels like winning the Calendar Slam; it’s not on his mind. He is just going there to practise from the first day, get ready, and probably have the best chance he can for the first round. This is his only goal.

“Then he will go little by little. This is why Rafa deals very well with these kinds of situations because he knows where he is and he just goes for it, just being realistic.”

Watch the Wimbledon men’s and women’s finals live on discovery+ and Eurosport

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