Rafael Nadal Wimbledon 2022

Rafael Nadal ‘most threatening’ when wounded declares Stefanos Tsitsipas on ‘immortal’ Spaniard

Rafael Nadal is the biggest threat to the rest of the tour when he appears weakened, as he does now, according to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

As the saying goes, a wounded animal is the most dangerous, and so seems true of 22-time Slam champion Nadal.

The 36-year-old has now won the first two Majors of 2022 after going four months without playing due to injury at the end of last year.

After the second of those triumphs, an astounding 14th Roland Garros title, Nadal revealed he had played multiple matches at the tournament with his left foot completely numbed with anaesthetics to deal with chronic pain from Mueller-Weiss syndrome.

“We’re used to seeing Rafa not being able to play and win multiple Grand Slams or tournaments [in a row due to injury],” Tsitsipas said in a pre-Wimbledon press conference.

“That’s where I think the opponents need to be more careful.

“When he says he cannot play and he has foot problems, that’s where I feel like he’s the most threatening in terms of his performance.

“It’s actually reverse psychology in a way.”

Some critics have questioned whether it is fair that Nadal was allowed to go to such medical lengths in order to compete in Paris.

However, Tsitsipas is not one of those critics, even describing Nadal almost as a god.

He continued: “I have a lot of respect for what he did at the French Open, playing with that foot.

“It kind of makes him feel like he’s immortal with the things he’s able to pull off.

“The matches, the level of intensity he’s able to reach in times where it’s very uncomfortable.

“It would be uncomfortable for most players to compete under these conditions physically.”

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