Rafael Nadal struggles on the court but doesn’t give up

13-times Roland Garros champion, Rafael Nadal, is doing his best to prepare for the second major tournament of the season. The 21-time winner has been contending with a foot injury again since the Rome Masters, and barely finished his quarter-final showdown at Foro Italico.

Rafa trained at his home in Mallorca on Tuesday, and spectators watched as he was far from his best, struggling to run but still doing his best to finish the training session. Nadal is due to arrive in Paris on Wednesday with his doctor and hope for the best ahead of his favorite tournament.

Nadal won 13 of the 17 titles at Roland Garros, losing only three times on clay, and is hoping to regain the title he lost to Novak Djokovic a year ago. Rafa missed the second part of the 2021 season due to a foot injury, felt acute pain in the Roland Garros semi-final against Novak and only played two more matches in August.

Like so many times before, Nadal made a perfect comeback and scored 20 wins from his first 20 matches in 2022.

Rafael Nadal is trying to recover before Roland Garros.

Rafa took the 21st major at the Australian Open to write the history books, feeling good and lifting another trophy in Acapulco.

The Spaniard remained undefeated until the Indian Wells final, where he sustained a rib injury and lost to Taylor Fritz. Suffering a rib injury, Nadal missed six weeks and skipped his favorite tournaments in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

The King of Clay returned to the matches in Madrid and Rome without his usual results. Rafa won two matches in Madrid before losing to young defender Carlos Alcaraz in three sets in the quarter-finals. Hoping for a better lead at Foro Italico, Nadal knocked out John Isner before losing 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 to Denis Shapovalov in 2 hours and 37 minutes.

Rafa barely finished the match without retiring, struggled with foot pain since midway through the second set and had no chance in the decider. With dark clouds gathering over his preparations for Roland Garros, Nadal made it to the training pitch on Monday and Tuesday, testing his body and hoping for improvements before claiming his best of five matches.

Unable to make his debut at Roland Garros in 2003 and 2004 due to injuries, Rafa was among the favorites in 2005. Nadal became the last teenager to win the tournament, defeating Roger Federer and Mariano Puerta for glory in tennis.

Nadal won nine out of ten titles at Roland Garros between 2005 and 2014, being the most successful player ever at a single major tournament. After two bad runs in 2015 and 2016, Rafa reclaimed the rankings and won four more titles between 2017 and 2020 to take his tally to 13!

Pursuing the 14th Parisian major this past June, Nadal lost an epic semi-final to Novak Djokovic in just over four hours. Rafa is not the frontrunner in Paris for the first time in years, and we must see if he can get past injuries again and challenge Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz.

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