With 22 main titles to his identify, Rafael Nadal is essentially the most completed participant of all time. Rafa has held a number of information within the extra prestigious tennis scene, the place he was one in every of two gamers with a number of titles in all 4 occasions alongside Novak Djokovic.
However Nadal misses a milestone in his resume after he did not defend the title exterior Paris!
Rafa has scored three targets with no less than 4 consecutive titles at Roland Garros. Nevertheless, the Spaniard has by no means completed something like this in one other main event, failing to defend the eight titles he has clinched through the years! Rafa Main’s first title exterior of Paris got here at Wimbledon 2008. Nadal couldn’t chase one other in 2009, struggling at Roland Garros and skipping Wimbledon as a consequence of tendinitis in his knees. Rafa conquered the Australian Open in 2009 and reached the quarterfinals a yr later.
Nadal confronted world no. 4 Andy Murray and trailed 6-3, 7-6, 3-0 earlier than retiring with proper knee issues. The Spaniard recovered for the remainder of the season and captured the remaining three titles for the primary time in his profession.
Nevertheless, Rafa will solely defend one title in 2011, you guessed it, in Paris. Nadal reached the ultimate of Wimbledon and walked away from defending the title with the win. Nevertheless, he misplaced to Novak Djokovic in 4 units. The identical factor occurred in New York, the place the Serb spoiled the plans of the Spaniard and gained the third main event of the season.
Nadal gained the US Open once more in 2013 and skipped one other Main for the season a yr later as a consequence of a wrist damage. Rafa needed to wait 4 years to win one other Main exterior Paris, step into the arduous courts and rejoice for the third time on the US Open in 2017.
Twelve months later, Nadal wrestled Dominic Thiem within the quarterfinals and was victorious after greater than 5 hours. Rafa struggled along with his proper knee once more and retired within the semi-finals after trailing 7-6 6-2 to Juan Martin del Potro.
Nadal captured his fourth US Open title in 2019 and didn’t play in New York a yr later.
Rafael Nadal has by no means defended a significant title exterior of Roland Garros.
Rafa has stayed house in Mallorca for the reason that pandemic started and hasn’t skilled for just a few months.
Nadal determined to skip New York as a consequence of security considerations and never having sufficient time to arrange for the arduous court docket main after coaching on clay. Rafa’s eighth main title exterior of Roland Garros got here ultimately yr’s Australian Open, as he celebrated in Melbourne for the primary time in 13 years!
Nadal got here from 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 falling quick to Daniil Medvedev within the last to carry out a formidable comeback and grow to be the primary participant to win 21 main titles! The Spaniard was not the favourite to defend the crown this week.
Rafa has been affected by an stomach damage since Wimbledon final yr, and he has barely gained a match for seven months and has misplaced his kind. Nadal gave his greatest in Melbourne, but it surely wasn’t due to one other damage. Rafa clashed with Jack Draper within the first spherical and confronted Mackenzie McDonald within the second spherical.
The American beat the Spaniard 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in 2 hours and 32 minutes, at hand Nadal his first main loss since 2016. Rafa injured his left thigh within the closing levels of the second set and refused to surrender, giving all the things he had. within the third, however misplaced it after a late break.
MacDonald fired 14 aces, tamed his blows nicely, and achieved the benefit on the shortest factors as much as 4 strokes. He created eight break factors and took 5 to ship the defending champions into Hazm. The American made a powerful begin and constructed a 4-1 benefit in lower than 20 minutes with a double break.
Nadal pulled again as soon as within the sixth sport and created a break-in alternative at 4-5. Mackenzie saved it and compelled Rafa to foul 6-4 in 46 minutes. They traded breaks early within the second set earlier than McDonald served up three good holds to maintain the strain on the opposite aspect.
Nadal squandered a match level at 3-3 and wasted half a ball to drop serve and fall behind. The American received an ace within the eighth inning to verify the benefit, and the Spaniard referred to as a medical timeout on his left hip.
Rafa continued to play and stayed within the ninth sport to increase the set. McDonald saved 30 within the tenth sport after a tiring Nadal forehand to spherical out the set and construct an enormous benefit after 1 hour and 49 minutes. Rafa continued to provide his greatest within the third set, unwilling to surrender earlier than the top.
The Aces shot a 4-4 break level and held again for extra drama. McKenzie put a backhand on the end line at 5-5 to make the decisive break and hit a game-winning serve within the twelfth sport to come back out on prime.