Is Nadal nearing his expiration date?


Photo taken by A. Pretty. Retrieved from Getty Images.

Elina K (Year 12), Chief Contributor

Last week on the 5th of June 2022, Raphael Nadal claimed his 22nd tennis Grand Slam Title against Casper Ruud in the French Open Final, historically making him the oldest winner to win on a clay-court AND the most amount of total Grand Slams held by a single male contestant 

Adding to his collection would be his 14th French Open title at Stade Roland Garros in a smooth victory, 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 against 23-year-old Norwegian Ruud, ranked 6th in the world. Winning both the Australian Open and French Open back-to-back, Nadal remains to be ranked 4th by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).  

Although achieving a glorious win, controversial claims followed as Nadal admitted to injecting numbing medications into his left ankle due as a result of a chronic injury after being spotted in crutches only days since the tournament. While numbing injections are widely accepted and legalised in the tennis world, many came to question Nadal’s future in the sport with the Wimbledon Championships being only days away. Currently, Nadal is undergoing procedures and treatment for his enduring foot injury in Barcelona, in a personal race against time to make it to the prestigious event to defend his title.  

With all the rumours circling, fans got first-hand information from the man himself stating “A major surgery that doesn’t guarantee me to be able to be competitive again and take a long time to be back is a risk. So, let’s do it step by step, as I did all my tennis career”. Nadal’s appearance at Wimbledon seems to be completely reliant on whether the treatments help cure his ankle injury and the level Nadal can play relatively pain-free.  

Regardless of his recent injury and no matter if he plays or not in the upcoming Opens, Raphael Nadal’s legacy in the tennis world is still clear.