Rafael Nadal has been given up on more than one occasion. The former world number 1 had played just seven official tournaments last year and hardly anyone imagined that he could be back in vogue at the beginning of 2022. Fresh from a long stop due to injury and arrived in Melbourne without great expectations, the Spanish phenomenon literally blew up the bank at the Australian Open.
The 35-year-old from Manacor won the Happy Slam for the second time in his career, coming back two sets behind Daniil Medvedev in the final. The Iberian thus hoisted himself to 21 Majors, overtaking Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time ranking.
The Majorcan also became the fourth man in history to have won all the Slams at least twice (along with Djokovic, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson). Rafa will try to stretch further at the Roland Garros, where he will hunt for his 14th seal.
Guest of Fabio Fazio in the latest episode of Che Tempo Che Fa, Italian TV show broadcats by Rai 3, Nadal recalled the best moments of his extraordinary career. Among them, he also mentioned the 2008 Wimbledon final against Federer.
The memory of Rafa Nadal
"I will never forget the 2008 Wimbledon final against Roger Federer. There is no doubt that it was one of the key moments of my career," explained the 21-time Grand Slam champion, who soon after would become the new number 1 in the world.
The Spanish champion also talked about his state of shape: "I have to keep improving. I need time to get back in shape, having not been able to train for a month and a half. In general, Madrid was not a bad week, even if it is probably the most difficult tournament for me.
I am thrilled to be in Rome, it is a place that I have always loved. I will do my best, as I always do. I hope to play a little better than last week. Despite my age, I still feel competitive when I'm healthy. My body is like an old machine: it takes some time to turn it back on."