19-year-old Rafael Nadal defeated Ivan Ljubicic in a five-set marathon to win the Madrid Masters in 2005.
Competing with constant pain, Nadal has lived with it over the years, seeing good or bad days at Roland Garros until last year. Rafa advanced to the semi-finals and faced Novak Djokovic in a massive match that lasted four hours and 11 minutes for four sets.
The Spaniard squandered a set point in third place and ran out of gas in fourth place. He struggled with his foot and missed the second half of the season! Rafa skipped Wimbledon and the Olympics to regain her strength.
The Spaniard entered Washington to test his body. After two games, he realized that he couldn’t play with so much pain.
Deciding to end the season and trying many remedies to treat his foot, Nadal had minor surgery in Barcelona in September.
Returning to the training ground, the Spaniard did his best to recover and prepare for next season. After solid practice sessions, Nadal decided to move to Melbourne and compete in two tournaments, feeling no pressure and just wanting to stay competitive.
Feeling better than a few months ago, Rafa took all ten wins in Australia and took the 21st major crown at the Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal is confident about his foot condition.
Nadal broke a rib at Indian Wells and dried up Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
The king of clay was unable to return to his usual level in Madrid and Rome, losing before the semi-finals and clouding over his chances at Roland Garros. Nadal needed needles to withstand all the tension in Paris as his foot injury plagued him again.
The king of clay beat Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud to win his 14th Roland Garros title. Before Wimbledon, Rafa was a favorite for the #1 of the Year award, but that wasn’t the case for him.
The Spaniard withdrew from the competition due to an abdominal injury after his epic victory over Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals. Not recovering 100% at the end of the season, Rafa has only played nine games since Canada and only had four wins and four losses for the first time since 2009!
But Nadal is confident for 2023 after finding a solution to his foot problem, complimenting his treatment and hoping to race next season without injury.
“The season we left behind went through many different phases and was purely physical. But when I found an effective treatment for my foot, everything changed, it helped me a lot.
“It has radically changed the way I look at my persistence in senior tennis,” said Rafael Nadal.