- A ‘miracle’ Rafael Nadal won two majors this year, says Mats Wilander after US Open defeat to Frances Tiafoe | Eurosport
“It looked like Rafa was either a little bit slow, or it could be that it is very difficult to read Frances Tiafoe’s game,” Wilander said. … “It is a miracle that he has won two Grand 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 per cent level.”
“Honestly, I don’t think physically Rafa was at his best,” said Corretja. “Somehow, he didn’t have enough energy he needed to get behind the ball and to dictate. He was struggling, he was getting a little late to the ball and when you are playing someone like Tiafoe that is pushing so much, it’s so bad.
- It’s Anybody’s U.S. Open Now | SI.com
On the other hand…. Nadal turns 37 (!) during the 2023 French Open. He is an expecting father. The ride has to end sometime. This past year alone he’s had a fractured rib, Covid, and an abdominal injury. Beyond that, as the reader notes, he has alluded to the fact that he is aging. The money quote from Monday: “Tennis is a sport of position. You need to be very very quick. And very young. I am not in that moment any more.” Oof.
Our best guess? He fulfills his commitment and plays Laver Cup. Then he shuts it down for 2022. He stays home, becomes a father and comes back for one more season. But who knows? Nadal himself admits that he doesn’t.
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