Rafa Roundup: “Everything that Nadal does is exceptional”

(Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)


Tom Hamilton: “With Djokovic absent, the tournament is there for Nadal to end the year like he started it. Though Medvedev heads in as top seed, if Nadal can stay fit — after he was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon with an abdominal injury — then his favorable draw means he’ll be able to play his way into form. This is what he did in both Melbourne and Paris and ended victorious there, and the draw in New York means it could be the quarterfinal when he’ll meet his first top-10 seeded player.”

Matt Fitzgerald—Rafael Nadal: Fritz has a truly great shot at breaking out here, but it’s impossible to ignore Nadal’s equally favorable draw. On paper, it’s as manageable as they come for the four-time winner.

Steve Tignor—Rafael Nadal: He’s recovering from injury and looked rusty in Cincy. But do you trust anyone else in the draw to win a major title as much as you trust him?

2. Rafael Nadal: Comes into New York not only undefeated in majors this year, but on a seven-match US Open win streak. He also comes to New York unsure of his physical fitness—he’s still not 100 percent back from the abdominal injury that wrecked his Wimbledon. At anything close to full health, he’s a serious contender to win a third Major in 2022 and extend his GOAT lead over absentee-by-choice Novak Djokovic. But Nadal looked tentative in Cincinnati (in a loss to Borna Coric which aged better as the days passed) + the usual concerns about his health as the season progresses = something less than a title. 

“Everything that (Nadal) does is exceptional,” Sampras said. “Roger (Federer) and I had a period of dominance on grass, but winning the same big 14 times is incredible. And mentally, what a player! Surely the best I’ve seen.”

When asked about his preference between Djokovic and Nadal, Sampras cheekily likened it to choosing between “a Ferrari or a Lamborghini.”

VIDEO: Former doubles World No. 1 Mark Knowles picks Rafa to win US Open

“Rafael Nadal knows how to win Majors. He has got a great draw early. Only time Rafa gets in a bit of trouble on hardcourt is early. I like his chances. He has got to play himself in. He has got Alcaraz possibly if they both advance to the semifinal, I am going to go with experience. Medvedev has got a tricky draw, depending on what happens in the Nick Kyrgios section. I am going with Rafael Nadal on the men’s side.”

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  1. Time will out that our Rafa is the absolute GOAT OF SPORTS. Not just tennis. No on – and I mean NO ONE – can compete statistically against his records. And I often imagine where he would be if he would not have ever been injured! It’s truly unimaginable. We are so blessed to be witnesses of it. Now, go get that US trophy! Vamos, Rafa! We love you so!!!

  2. Been so looking forward to this tournament and watching you play your best to win, just like all of your thousands of fans ,we all love you and send our best wishes, Go Rafa!!

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