NOVAK DJOKOVIC has been warned Rafael Nadal is currently playing better than at any point in his career.
Rafael Nadal is performing “better than ever” following his win at the Mexican Open on Sunday, according to Patrick McEnroe. Nadal won his third tournament out of three in 2022 by beating Brit Cameron Norrie in straight sets in Acapulco. It follows successes at the Melbourne Summer Set and the memorable Australian Open win last month.
Nadal missed much of 2021 due to a foot injury and has since admitted he thought he may have to retire due to the problem.
However, he has returned to the elite level of tennis better than most would have expected.
Nadal’s win in Melbourne took him above rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as the most successful men’s Grand Slam singles champion of all time.
The 35-year-old has won 21 major tournaments, one more than Djokovic and Federer.
Federer himself is currently on the sidelines after knee surgery and hasn’t won a Grand Slam in over four years.
But Djokovic, who lost his status as world No 1 last week, is still performing at a high level, having won three of the Slams in 2021.
And in a clear warning to the Serbian, McEnroe says Nadal is playing ominously well at present.
The American tweeted: “15-0. 3 Titles. @RafaelNadal in 2022…
“Back and better than ever.”
Nadal didn’t drop a set throughout the tournament in Mexico.
He was pleased with how he performed and delighted to win in Acapulco for a fourth time, 17 years after his first victory there.
“I went through some very difficult moments during the match that I was able to save, and then I took advantage when I had the chances,” Nadal said.
“I’m very pleased. It was a very important title for me, so I can’t be happier.
“I’m fine, very happy, I haven’t lost a set throughout the tournament and the first two days were fast matches that didn’t have much time on the court.
“Physically I felt very well despite the intense humidity there is in this tournament.
“I’ve responded well. It’s been a long career, when I came the first time everything was new to me and perhaps victories are more valued now than when you’re 18.
“It’s incredible to be able to win a tournament like this again at 35.
“Throughout my career as a professional tennis player there are many tournaments that have left an important mark, and I have incredible memories of this place.”