While never being that much into social media, Rafael Nadal likes to keep his fans updated. The Spanish star has achieved another milestone on Instagram, becoming the first player with 17 million followers! Rafael Nadal is preparing for the new season, hoping to defend the Australian Open crown and secure his 23rd Major.
Rafa finished the 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 for the first time in a career 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 this 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 his first Melbourne Park trophy in 13 years and write history books.
Rafa conquered Acapulco in February over Daniil Medvedev and Cameron Norrie and reached the Indian Wells final for a perfect 20-0 start. However, the Spaniard fractured his rib, lost the title clash to Taylor Fritz and missed his favorite clay events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
Rafa returned to action in Madrid and Rome and did not play at his best.
Rafael Nadal is the first male tennis player with 17 million Instagram followers.
Also, Nadal’s foot bothered him again, with the dark clouds gathering over him ahead of beloved Roland Garros.
Nadal needed injections ahead of 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 scored an epic five-setter victory over Taylor Fritz and advanced into the semi-final. 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 against Carlos Alcaraz. Nadal lost in the US Open fourth round and embraced four consecutive defeats for the first time since the end of 2009!
Eager to terminate the losing streak, Rafa ousted Casper Ruud in the final match of the season at the ATP Finals in Turin, hoping for a fresh start in 2023.