January 10, 2022
Rafael Nadal has returned to winning ways and sent out a warning to his rivals with a title triumph in Melbourne.
It’s wonderful to see the Spaniard overcome injury to hit something like top form so early in the new year.
And that can only be great news for Wimbledon 2022 where Nadal will be sure to receive a hero’s welcome.
Rafa is still revered around the lawns of the All England Club and rightly so.
He has won the Wimbledon title twice already. And Nadal beat Federer in arguably the greatest final of all time back in 2008.
He last took the Australian Open title in 2009 and hadn’t lifted silverware Down Under since then.
But now he has rediscovered that winning feeling by taking the Melbourne Summer Set title in style.
The first-set tie-break against American qualifier Maxime Cressy could have gone either way.
Nadal also had to fight his way back from a break down and fend off a set point in the opener.
But he used all his experience and self-belief to come out on top when it mattered.
And Rafa wasn’t too troubled in the second set as he closed out the match 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.
That’s his 89th tour title and will give him a massive appetite to maintain momentum.
At 35 years old, Rafael Nadal will be bidding to edge ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic when the Australian Open starts later this month.
Nadal, Federer and Djokovic are all level on 20 Grand Slams. It’s a beautifully-poised race to become the greatest of all time.
That’s another reason why Wimbledon 2022 will be so special.
The historical context is massive. And it is also Wimbledon’s Centenary Year at the current venue. So that sense of history will ooze from every corner of the classic surroundings.
The lush green grass and unmatchable glamour make Wimbledon the greatest date on the British summer calendar.
Rafael Nadal will want to be there to stay in the hunt for one more Grand Slam title.
For now, he is just happy with the way his year has started.
Rafa said: ‘It means a lot to be back with a trophy in my hands. I feel privileged and a very lucky guy to be here again.
‘I’m coming back from some challenging moments in terms of injuries, so I can’t be happier.’
Meanwhile in Sydney it was the Canadians who were celebrating against Nadal’s Spanish compatriots.
Canada took the ATP Cup thanks to Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
These bright young stars are both tipped as future Wimbledon winners.
Canadian fans know they will probably be able to enjoy a deep run from both players at Wimbledon 2022.
In Sydney, Shapovalov saw off Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4, 6-3.
Then Auger-Aliassime downed Wimbledon semi-finalist Roberto Bautista-Agut 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 to seal glory.
Another weekend winner was Gael Monfils. The supreme entertainer thrilled Adelaide to beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-4 and bag himself a title.
So did Aussie favourite Ashleigh Barty, who beat Elena Rybakina 6-3, 6-2 in 64 scorching minutes in Adelaide.
‘I got better and better’ admitted Barty, who has won thirteen of her last fifteen matches against top ten opponents.
We can’t wait to see all these tennis heroes start off on their 2022 Grand Slam trail.
And Wimbledon 2022 is only a few months away now!
There is every indication we will all be able to enjoy a happy, healthy and historic tournament!
Would you like to join us?