Rafael Nadal is among the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award nominees. A 22-time Major winner is in contention for his third Laureus award, two years after winning the second in 2021. Rafa had a great run at Majors in 2022, winning the Australian Open and the mind-blowing 14th Roland Garros, the title that made him the Laureus nominee.
Nadal will challenge Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Max Verstappen, Stephen Curry and Mondo Duplantis for the prestigious award. Rafa finished the previous year inside the top-2, right after his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz. Thus, Nadal became the oldest year-end top-2 player in the ATP ranking history, taking the record away from Roger Federer.
Rafa conquered back-to-back Major titles in Melbourne and Paris and became the only player with 22 notable crowns. Nadal missed the second part of 2021 due to foot issues and made a perfect comeback last season. The veteran endured all the obstacles at the Australian Open.
He came from 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 down against Daniil Medvedev in the final to lift the first Melbourne Park trophy in 13 years. Rafa conquered Acapulco in February and reached the Indian Wells final for a perfect 20-0 start to the season.
However, the Spaniard fractured his rib, lost the title clash to Taylor Fritz and missed Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Rafa returned to action in Madrid and Rome, not playing at his best.
Rafael Nadal is the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award nominee.
Also, his foot bothered him again, with the dark clouds gathering over him ahead of Roland Garros.
Nadal needed injections before every match in Paris to ease the pain and compete at the desired level. Rafa provided his clay-court magic and beat Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud for his 14th Roland Garros title and the 22nd Major!
Nadal wished for more at Wimbledon, seeking the first All England Club crown in 12 years. The Spaniard reached the semi-final following an epic victory over Taylor Fritz. However, the veteran revealed a seven-millimeter abdominal tear that forced him to withdraw ahead of the Nick Kyrgios clash.
Rafa would play only nine matches by the end of the season, winning four and failing to fight for the year-end no. 1 honor. Nadal lost in the US Open fourth round and embraced four consecutive defeats for the first time since the end of 2009!
Doing everything to terminate the losing streak, Rafa ousted Casper Ruud in the season’s final match in Turin, eager to improve his form in 2023 and chase notable titles again.