Rafael Nadal earns AS Sports Aawrd


Rafael Nadal prepares for the new season while collecting all the honors after another notable season. The latest award came from AS, as Rafa secured the national prize from a prominent newspaper. Rafa finished the season inside the top-2 behind his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz. Thus, Nadal became the oldest year-end top-2 player in the ATP ranking history, taking the record away from Roger Federer. Rafa conquered back-to-back Major titles in Melbourne and Paris for the first time in a career and became the only player with 22 Major crowns.

Nadal missed the second part of 2021 due to foot issues and made a perfect comeback this season. The veteran endured all the obstacles at the Australian Open. He came from 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 down against Daniil Medvedev in the final to lift the first Melbourne Park trophy in 13 years. Rafa conquered Acapulco in February and reached the Indian Wells final for a perfect 20-0 start to the season. However, the Spaniard fractured his rib, lost the title clash to Taylor Fritz and missed Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Rafa returned to action in Madrid and Rome and did not play at his best.

Rafael Nadal earned the AS Sports award.

Also, his foot bothered him again, with the dark clouds gathering over him ahead of Roland Garros. Nadal needed injections ahead of every match in Paris to ease the pain and compete at the desired level. Rafa provided his clay-court magic and beat Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud for his 14th Roland Garros title from 18 trips to Paris! Nadal wished for more at Wimbledon, seeking the first All England Club crown in 12 years. The Spaniard reached the semi-final following an epic victory over Taylor Fritz in five thrilling sets.

However, the veteran revealed a seven-millimeter abdominal tear that forced him to withdraw ahead of the Nick Kyrgios clash. Rafa would play only nine matches by the end of the season, winning four and failing to fight for the year-end no. 1 honor in New York. Nadal lost in the US Open fourth round and embraced four consecutive defeats for the first time since the end of 2009! Eager to terminate the losing streak, Rafa ousted Casper Ruud in the final match of the season at the ATP Finals in Turin, hoping for a fresh start in 2023. Nadal will lead Spain at the inaugural United Cup ahead of the Australian Open. 

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