It goes without saying that Rafael Nadal is already a legend and will go down in the history of tennis as one of the best players ever to pick up a racquet.
Having struggled with multiple injuries throughout his illustrious career, the Spaniard has been written off by experts and fans on numerous occasions, only for him to make a stunning comeback every single time. It's his perseverance and undying fighting spirit that has helped him take home 22 Grand Slam titles, the highest among the men.
The current World No. 2 enjoyed an amazing first half of the 2022 season, winning four singles titles which included the Australian and the French Open. However, after an abdominal injury at Wimbledon in July, the Spaniard has not been at his best in any of the events that he has played.
Speaking on the Tennis Channel Inside-In podcast recently, sportswriter Chris Oddo reflected on Nadal's season, saying that if he can find his top fitness level in 2023, he will be the player to beat.
"We forget Rafa because not much has happened for him off-late, the injuries kind of caught up with him, he became a father, and a lot of things happened. But two Slams at the beginning of the year and I think what he proved to me and what I think is still going to be true going forward is that if Rafa can find a way to get that diesel engine going and get to peak fitness where he's comfortable with the surface, where he's going to be playing, he gets a little bit of a lead-up, his body's not giving him issues, if he peaks, he can beat anybody and do the damage. He can do that again next year. I think it's going to be harder for him to sign that peak fitness but if he's got it and he's thriving in his body, he can be the best,"Oddo said.
"I'm pretty ready for my next life outside of tennis" - Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal and his wife Maria Francisca Perello became parents for the first time last month after the birth of their son. The Spaniard has often said that although tennis is an important part of his life, it's not everything. During a press conference in Argentina earlier this week, Nadal stated that he wasn't worried about life post-retirement.
"My time will come when it has to come. I'm pretty ready for my next life outside of tennis. I don't think it's going to be a problem for me beyond what will be an adaptation to the changes. My life has things equal to or more important than tennis," Rafael Nadal said.