With 22 main titles to his identify, Rafael Nadal is essentially the most achieved participant of all time. Rafa has held a number of information within the extra prestigious tennis scene, the place he was considered one 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 didn’t defend the title outdoors Paris!
Rafa has scored three targets with at the least 4 consecutive titles at Roland Garros. Nonetheless, the Spaniard has by no means performed 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 outdoors of Paris got here at Wimbledon 2008. Nadal couldn’t chase one other in 2009, struggling at Roland Garros and skipping Wimbledon on account of tendinitis in his knees. Rafa conquered the Australian Open in 2009 and reached the quarterfinals a 12 months 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.
Nonetheless, 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. Nonetheless, 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 12 months later on account of a wrist damage. Rafa needed to wait 4 years to win one other Main outdoors Paris, step into the laborious 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 together 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 12 months later.
Rafael Nadal has by no means defended a serious title outdoors of Roland Garros.
Rafa has stayed residence in Mallorca for the reason that pandemic started and hasn’t skilled for just a few months.
Nadal determined to skip New York on account of security considerations and never having sufficient time to arrange for the laborious courtroom main after coaching on clay. Rafa’s eighth main title outdoors of Roland Garros got here finally 12 months’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 brief to Daniil Medvedev within the ultimate to carry out a formidable comeback and turn into 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 12 months, and he has barely gained a match for seven months and has misplaced his type. Nadal gave his finest in Melbourne, however it 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 phases of the second set and refused to surrender, giving every little thing he had. within the third, however misplaced it after a late break.
MacDonald fired 14 aces, tamed his blows effectively, 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 robust 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 recreation 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 facet.
Nadal squandered a match level at 3-3 and wasted half a ball to drop serve and fall behind. The American bought an ace within the eighth inning to substantiate the benefit, and the Spaniard referred to as a medical timeout on his left hip.
Rafa continued to play and stayed within the ninth recreation to increase the set. McDonald stored 30 within the tenth recreation 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 finest within the third set, unwilling to surrender earlier than the tip.
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 recreation to return out on high.