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Rafael Nadal, the Injured Man Who Breaks Records

The Best Spanish Tennis Player of All Time Once Again Surprises the Entire Sporting Planet by Winning his 14th Roland Garros Title and his 22nd Grand Slam.

Rafael Nadal with the Roland Garros 2022 cup

Photo: IG-rafaelnadal

LatinAmerican Post | Sergio Marentes

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Leer en español: Rafael Nadal, el hombre lesionado que rompe récords

Sunday May 5, 2022 will go down in history as the day Rafael Nada won his 14th title at Roland Garros. With this victory he reached 22 Grand Slam titles, surpassing his two great rivals in his career: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, each of them with 20 Grand Slam titles. He also extended his title record to 92, moving to 2 behind Ivan Lendl, for fourth place behind Jimmy Connors with 109 and Roger Federer with 103.

Play without the body, but with the mind

The feat, in addition to being historical, is cataloged by sports medicine specialists as superhuman due to the injury to his foot, for which he had to infiltrate before each game to be able to enter the court. But that, and always against any scientific, non-sports prognosis, is already a kind of custom, at least at Roland Garros, which in recent years has seen him arrive injured, but as the top favorite.

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This is where Nadal's true superpower lies. You can always go one step further. At each point, when it seems that he will not be able to touch the ball, either because of his speed, because of his age or because the opponent has the skills to beat him, he sends a categorical message of his champion caste by returning it to the other side of the ball. the net and putting in check the head of whoever is on the other side of the net.

Win before the game

Rafael Nadal, the player who wins the minds of his rivals first, did it again this time. From the moment before entering the field, those moments in which the players are usually tense, concentrated and static, in a conversation with themselves, he (like a kind of gladiator, a beast eager to get out of his cage, who ran from From side to side) jumped, moved, twisted his trunk from side to side hitting an imaginary ball, hunting his invisible victim before the fearful gaze of Casper Ruud, his rival, debutant in a Grand Slam final.

After the end

One of the unavoidable issues is his retirement, no doubt. Something that Nadal has been making clear in his different press conferences is that he will always try to give his best, and that if he is not in a position to compete at the highest level, he will not do it. Although he had already warned, prior to the match against Djokovic in the quarterfinals, that this could be his last Roland Garros match, after the title, Nadal did not say that this was his last Roland Garros, so it can even be confirmed, which will come to the next.

Some statistics, after the feat, to give context to what Rafael Nadal achieved.

Tennis players who have already won at least 20 Grand Slam titles (Singles)

24 Margaret Court

23 Serena Williams

22 Steffi Graf - Rafael Nadal

20 Novak Djokovic-Roger Federer

Effectiveness in single Grand Slam finals (Open Era/Men's Singles)

1st Rafael Nadal - 14 - 0, Roland Garros

2nd Novak Djokovic - 9 - 0, Australian Open

3rd Sampras - 7 - 0, Wimbledon

Most Grand Slam wins (Men's Singles)

1st Roger Federer - 369

2nd Novak Djokovic - 327

3rd Rafael Nadal - 305