Nadal Continues Winning Streak At French Open


- Grant Whittington

Spaniard Rafael Nadal on Sunday not only beat Casper Ruud to the 2022 French Open title at Roland Garros – he also extended his Grand Slam title record to 22. This leaves fellow-greats Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic trailing seriously behind at 20 titles each.

Nadal’s 2022 French Open win came 17 years after he had won his very first title at Roland Garros as a fresh-faced 19-year-old, and two days after his 36th birthday.

Never one to be completely at ease about the ageing process, Nadal often comments on the process of growing older with absolute disdain. For the Spaniard, there never has been a silver lining to ageing.

Even so, his approach has been one of positivity and tenacity, and it is with this attitude that he clinched a historical 14th French Open title.

New Record Despite Worry

For so long has Nadal kept up his winning ways, that he’s also now the oldest player to have won the tournament. On Sunday, he surpassed a 50-year-record previously set by Andres Gimeno who won the competition at 34 years of age.

But the run-up to the tournament had not been without widespread speculation about the viability of a future on the court. A foot injury the re-emerged at the Italian Open in Rome left not only the Spaniard in a miserable and doubtful state, but also his fans.

Following Sunday’s final, Nadal finally opened up about the extent of the physical discomforted suffered all throughout the tournament. After his second-round match against Corentin Moutet, he explained, he had hardly been able to walk. He described this as the worst moment from a physical perspective.

The rest of the tournament, revealed the Spaniard, had been played with an anaesthetised foot. He explained that he had only been able to compete in the remainder of the tournament because his foot had been put to sleep by a process that deadened the nerves.

Glimpse At The Future

The next step for the champion will be radiofrequency treatment applied to the affected foot. This, he explained, will be performed as part of an attempt to find a long-term solution.

He also revealed that should his body comply, fans will get to see him in action at Wimbledon later this month.

Despite his dissatisfaction with ageing, a process that has clearly affected his athleticism, Nadal has managed to transform his dominance at Roland Garros into something untouchable.

The gap created between himself and so many other greats remains a remarkable thing. And it’s likely to remain exactly that for some time to come.

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