With 22 main titles to his identify, Rafael Nadal is essentially the most completed participant of all time. Rafa has held a number of data within the extra prestigious tennis scene, the place he was certainly 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 did not defend the title exterior Paris!
Rafa has scored three targets with not less than 4 consecutive titles at Roland Garros. Nonetheless, the Spaniard has by no means carried out something like this in one other main event, failing to defend the eight titles he has clinched over time! 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 result 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.
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 yr later as a result of a wrist damage. Rafa needed to wait 4 years to win one other Main exterior Paris, step into the onerous courts and have a good time 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 yr later.
Rafael Nadal has by no means defended a significant title exterior of Roland Garros.
Rafa has stayed house in Mallorca because the pandemic started and hasn’t educated for a couple of months.
Nadal determined to skip New York as a result of security considerations and never having sufficient time to organize for the onerous courtroom main after coaching on clay. Rafa’s eighth main title exterior of Roland Garros got here finally 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 brief to Daniil Medvedev within the last to carry out a powerful 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 type. Nadal gave his finest in Melbourne, nevertheless 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, handy 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 pieces he had. within the third, however misplaced it after a late break.
MacDonald fired 14 aces, tamed his blows properly, 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 acquired 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 recreation to increase the set. McDonald stored 30 within the tenth recreation after a tiring Nadal forehand to spherical out the set and construct a large benefit after 1 hour and 49 minutes. Rafa continued to present his finest 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 recreation to return out on high.