'I thought there's no way Rafa can play as hard after 30. So dummy of me': US tennis legend hails 'crazy' Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open and French Open titles before being forced to withdraw from the Wimbledon semi-final due to abdominal muscle injury.
Spain's tennis star Rafael Nadal has enjoyed an excellent 2022 despite an abdominal muscle injury forcing him to withdraw from Wimbledon last week. Nadal won the Australian Open and French Open titles this year, taking his Grand Slam tally to 22; Serbia's Novak Djokovic inched closer to Nadal with his 21st major when he lifted the Wimbledon title on Sunday. The Spaniard was scheduled to take on Nick Kyrgios for a place in the final before the injury eventually ruled him out.
Former US tennis star Andy Roddick, whose career was also marred significantly due to injuries, spoke about Nadal's phenomenal achievements this year. Roddick insisted that he didn't think Spain's 36-year-old star would be competing strongly at this age.
"I don't know how to predict that, I don't know how to predict health," Roddick said on a podcast, as quoted by Tennis World USA.
"I was one of the guys who said there's no way Rafa can play as hard and as physical as he does and last past 30. So dummy me he's still winning slams this year he's at 22 now. It's certainly weird when real life kind of infringes on our little tennis bubble," Roddick said.
Nadal had revealed in May that he is batting consistent foot pain, sharing that he has Mueller-Weiss Syndrome (where the navicular bone -- in the mid-foot region -- faces spontaneous osteonecrosis in adults. This causes blood to be cut off from the bone, causing pain.
“You know it's crazy what Rafa's doing right now with maybe like one foot and and you know limping to 14 Roland Garros titles just it's just crazy,” Roddick further said.
Earlier, Nadal, who said his injury prevented him from being able to serve properly in Wimbledon quarter-final, had said that he wasn't thinking about a Calendar slam. “I never thought about the calendar Slam, I thought about my diary and my happiness,” Nadal had said.