Although he has never been much of a fan of social media, Rafael Nadal likes to keep his followers informed. The Spanish star has reached another milestone on Instagram, becoming the first tennis player with 17 million followers!
Rafael Nadal is gearing up for the new season, hoping to defend the Australian Open crown and secure his 23rd Major. Rafa ended the year in the top-2, just after his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz. In this way, Nadal became the oldest player to finish the year in the top 2 of the ATP ranking, taking the record from Roger Federer.
Rafa won for the first time in his career consecutive titles in the Melbourne and Paris Grands and became the only player with 22 notable crowns. Nadal missed the second part of 2021 with foot problems and has come back perfectly this season.
The veteran endured all the obstacles at the Australian Open. He came back from a 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 loss against him against Daniil Medvedev in the final to lift his first Melbourne Park trophy in 13 years and make history.
Rafa conquered Acapulco in February over Daniil Medvedev and Cameron Norrie and reached the Indian Wells final for a perfect 20-0 start. However, the Spaniard suffered a broken rib, lost the title match to Taylor Fritz and missed his favorite clay-court events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
Rafa returned to action in Madrid and Rome and did not play at his best level. In addition, Nadal’s foot bothered him again, with the clouds closing in on him before the beloved Roland Garros. Nadal required injections before each match in Paris to ease the pain and compete at the desired level.
Rafa displayed his magic on clay and beat Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud to win his 14th Roland Garros title and 22nd Major. Nadal wished for more at Wimbledon, seeking the first All England Club crown in 12 years.
The Spaniard achieved an epic five-set victory over Taylor Fritz and advanced to the semifinals.
Rafa won the award for the fifth time
Rafael Nadal has ruled out retiring any time soon, stating that he hasn’t reached “that point” yet.
“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.
It will come though,” the 36-year-old said. Rafael Nadal was recently named the men’s ITF World Champion for 2022.