Men’s 2022 French Open Recap – Nadal Dominates Once Again
Nadal has now won an astonishing 14 French Open titles, sporting a fancy Nike kit as always. He now owns 22 overall Grand Slam titles, two more than both Djokovic and Federer. There were doubts about Nadal coming into this French Open given the foot condition he now must contend with.
Immediately before the French Open, at the Italian Open, he was barely able to finish his round of 16 match against Denis Shapovalov. He was hobbling around the court for most of the third set, and even though he continued, lost the match. None of that seemed to matter at the French Open, where he cruised to the round of 16 without dropping a set.
In the round of 16 he would meet Auger-Aliassime, who is now coached by his uncle, Toni Nadal, and coincidentally uses the same racket as Rafa. This would be his only five-setter of the tournament, and a match that could have gone either way. In the quarters he would meet Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, and the favorite to win the tournament. He would dispatch Djokovic in four entertaining sets.
His semifinal match against Zverev was turning out to be a complicated affair, with Nadal showing signs of fatigue. That is of course until Zverev injured his ankle and had to be wheeled off the court with Nadal up a set and 6-6 in the second set. Not even his brand new Adidas Adizero 4 Clay tennis shoes could keep him from injury.
The final would arguably be his most comfortable match. Although Casper Ruud was up a break in the second set, Nadal would run away with the next 11 games to finish with a score of 6-3, 6-3, 6-0.
Nadal is now in the same position Djokovic found himself last year – heading into Wimbledon as the Australian and French Open champion, and with a chance at a calendar-year Grand Slam. Nadal’s situation is a little more precarious though, given that he does not know how his foot condition will hold up.
After the French Open match, he seemed doubtful about coming back next year, referencing his foot condition as the reason things are becoming more and more complicated. Let’s hope he does continue and he’s able to give 100%, because he is an absolute joy to watch. In the meantime, it will be fun to see both Djokovic and to a lesser extent Federer chase after Nadal in the Grand Slam total.
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