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Rafael Nadal: ‘I’m still a pro-athlete and I wish it lasts’

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Rafael Nadal took great satisfaction in 2022, despite the physical problems affecting his performance in the second half of the season. The Spanish champion won the Australian Open and Roland Garros, stretching over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the all-time Grand Slam rankings.

The former world number 1 also played an excellent Wimbledon before a torn abs forced him to retire on the eve of the semifinal against Nick Kyrgios. The 36-year-old from Manacor showed up at the US Open in precarious conditions, so much so that he was unable to go beyond the round of 16 (beaten in four sets by Frances Tiafoe).

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The season finale was stingy with satisfactions for Rafa, who left the scene prematurely both at Paris-Bercy and at the ATP Finals in Turin. The 22-time Grand Slam champion has no intention of giving up and will take part in the inaugural edition of the United Cup.

Rafael Nadal

The Majorcan will then travel to Melbourne, where he will be called upon to defend his title. At the launch of his new hotel chain, Nadal confided that he is doing everything possible to extend his career.

Nadal had a brilliant 2022 season

“I’m still a pro-athlete and I wish it lasts.

I put effort so that it lasts as much as possible. Retirement starts the day you start as there’s one day less to reach it. But I’m not at that point, I work every day with the right energy to not be at that point yet.

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It will come though,” Rafael Nadal said. Stefanos Tsitsipas regards his comeback win over Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Australian Open as “one of the best comebacks” of his career so far. “There were two times when I found myself in the same situation with the same opponent, but [it was] a different Stefanos each time.

Rafael Nadal

The first time I faced Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in the semi-finals [in 2019], I was really impatient,” Tsitsipas said. “I remember thinking, ‘OK, I’m playing against one of the best. I really need to prove myself with big shots and go for it.

Two years later, I faced [Rafael Nadal] again at the same tournament, this time in the quarterfinals. After going two sets down, I understood what I was doing wrong. I remember coming to an agreement with myself, saying, “OK, you’re going to become patient.

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You’re going to wait. You’re going to spend every single minute on the court enjoying the play and just make it a fun game,” Tsitsipas said.

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