Mats Wilander and Alex Corretja hail ‘miraculous’ Rafael Nadal season
Seven-time Slam champion Mats Wilander and two-time Major finalist Alex Corretja have both reiterated just how improbable the 2022 results of Rafael Nadal have been after his US Open campaign came to an end in the fourth round.
The 22-time Slam champion was fighting for his third Major crown of the year before his 22-match win streak at the highest level was ended by American world number 26 Frances Tiafoe.
Nadal came into New York with just one match under his belt in the eight weeks between Wimbledon and the US Open, a second round loss to eventual champion Borna Coric at the Cincinnati Masters.
“We have to remember though that Rafa hasn’t played enough tennis,” Corretja told Eurosport after the Spaniard crashed out of the American Slam. “It is a miracle that he has won two Slams this year and reaching the semis at Wimbledon.
“If you look at his year, with the regular season he had he actually won two Grand Slams, that’s unbelievable. It wasn’t expected, but I think the players know when Rafa isn’t quite at 100% level.”
Wilander, who himself won the US Open back in 1988, agreed with his colleague, saying: “[Nadal] didn’t play too many matches during the summer time and he needs a little more confidence in the matches.
“As you go on and play, you feel a little smoother on the court. In my opinion, Rafa now needs to think about what he wants for the future because we are at the beginning of September, finishing number one is important but he might save energy.
“I don’t think he’ll play more than two or three tournaments for the rest of the year. For me, it was a miracle that Rafa was able to win in Australia and at Roland Garros so what can we say?
“He’s our icon, he’s the best example of our sport, and if he lost today, Frances needed to play unbelievable because he gave everything he had.”
Nadal is unsure when he will play next as he returns home to be with his pregnant wife and reset to look ahead.
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