Rafael Nadal was the great protagonist of this start of the season. The Spanish champion started the year by winning the Melbourne ATP, and then achieved an extraordinary feat at the Australian Open. In a tournament that was often hostile to him, the former world number 1 achieved one of the most beautiful feats of his entire career.
After surviving two authentic battles against Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini, the Majorcan reassembled Daniil Medvedev in two sets in the final. Just as the Russian glimpsed the finish line banner, Rafa proved to be an absolute legend of the sport.
The second triumph in Melbourne allowed him to overtake Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time Grand Slam standings. The 35-year-old from Manacor will try to reach 22 Majors already at Roland Garros, where he will start with the underdogs.
As if that were not enough, the Iberian won in Acapulco by regulating Medvedev again in the semifinals. As a guest on the latest edition of the ‘No Tiene Nombre’ podcast, Alex Corretja confided that he was amazed by Nadal’s performance.
Corretja opens up on Rafa Nadal
“Rafael Nadal [keeps on fighting to be the best even after achieving everything in tennis] out of love. For the enthusiasm and passion that he feels for tennis and for the awareness of it,” Corretja said.
“I think Rafa does it because he would never forgive himself for withdrawing and thinking that he still had something left. He has no financial need, has only the internal need to believe that he has something that he wants to squeeze out.
That’s a commitment.” Corretja praised both the Mallorcan and Medvedev for their spirited performances on the night, claiming that the match was a glowing showcase by two of the best players in the world on how to manage difficult situations.
“[The 2022 Australian Open final] is not just a tennis thing. It goes beyond that. It broke the barriers of sport,” Corretja said. “The way both Nadal and Medvedev played and managed the situation is to make us say, ‘We’re going to watch this match and we’re going to learn from what we just saw.
We have to pass that skill on to our children’” He also said, “There are many people who confuse being ambitious with not being able to be humble”. But while Nadal has time and again said that he does not personally care about the GOAT debate, he has also admitted that he likes to win and to keep enjoying playing the sport of tennis.