Reflecting on the Career of Rafael Nadal - UBITENNIS
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Reflecting on the Career of Rafael Nadal



When Rafael Nadal called for a press conference to be held at his academy in Majorca yesterday, the tennis world knew that it wasn’t simply going to be a withdrawal from his favourite tournament, Roland Garros. Now, the harsh reality of his situation is there for all to see.


While the tennis world has to start preparing for life after Rafael Nadal from 2025 onwards, the Parisian Major will be mourning the absence of a man synonymous with the tournament in ten days time.

Nadal’s Impact on the Sport

Rarely in sports do numbers alone create enough insight into the stupidity and remarkability of an achievement to those less involved, but what the Spaniard has done at Roland Garros has had far-reaching implications.

Known as the ‘King of Clay,’ Nadal’s status and legacy at the Parisian event is etched into history.

Following 18 consecutive years of appearing at the tournament, with just 3 losses in 115 matches, Nadal has rewritten the history books, and reconstructed perceptions of greatness in the sport. He burst onto the scene as a raw talent at the age of 19, giving us a glimpse into the future at this tournament and across the world.

Fast forward to the present, and he now holds the same number of titles at one Major as the great Pete Sampras achieved across all four Slams. Bearing into mind that Sampras was the Grand Slam record holder in mens singles standing alone at 14, what we have seen Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer do within one era is truly unheard of.

Debating who of those three extraordinaires in this sport is the greatest will always have too many layers to conclude definitively, However, what is without question is that Nadal made Court Philippe Chatrier his second home, and created something that may never be eclipsed again in the history of sport.

His career has not been without its ups and downs. While any 22-time Major champion in sport cannot complain too much about their body, which clearly contributed to their incredible successes, Nadal has managed to achieve this despite suffering multiple potentially career-threatening injuries. Finally at the age of 36, his body has caught up on him.

Nadal’s Warrior-like Mentality Through the Years

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Rafael Nadal Press Conference – Rafa Nadal Academy, Mallorca, Spain – February 2, 2022 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during the press conference

What stands out to me almost above anything in his career is his willingness to bounce back from many blows which others may not have been able to cope with. Nadal looked a defeated man physically and emotionally in 2015 at the age of 29.

Many believed Nadal’s confidence issues and continuous physical problems were going to stop him from playing late in his 30s. He was even written off by many people in the sport who believed he could not fight for Major titles again.

2016 saw a resurgent Spaniard. He started to claim the big titles again, before another huge setback. At his beloved tournament in Paris, he pulled out before a third round match with a wrist injury. Many of us will remember the tone of his press conference, where he looked totally deflated and defeated.

Once again, he fought through an arduous rehabilitation programme to return for the Rio Olympics later on in the year, where he partnered up with a long-time friend, Marc Lopez, and won a gold medal in the men’s doubles tournament.

Then came something utterly unthinkable. At the start of 2017, he and his long-time rival, Roger Federer, were on their ways back from long lay-offs. Federer aged 35, and Nadal aged 31, reached the Australian Open final, providing the tennis world with a throwback match which barely anyone expected.

Despite not coming out on top, Nadal showed the world once again that he could compete at the top of the sport. He went on to win 2 majors in the season, including in Paris and at the US Open.

In 2022, Nadal was chasing the Calendar Slam. He had already won in Australia and Paris, and was just 9 wins away from collecting all four Majors in a calendar year. He even won the French Open despite having a completely numb left foot because of multiple pain-killing injections.

However, physical discomfort with his abdominal muscle meant that he had to pull out before his Wimbledon semi-final match with Nick Kyrgios.

The latter part of 2022 was a struggle. Nadal’s health issues kept reappearing. He also became a first-time father to a baby boy during this period. Over the last eight months, he has only won two ATP tour matches.

Six years on from 2017, having added a further eight Majors to his tally, finally it seems that his playing career is coming to an end. There is still the potentially mouthwatering prospect of a lap of the tour in 2024. Nadal intends on playing some of the tournaments which have enhanced his legacy one more time. Of course, he will only play if he feels he can compete for the biggest titles.

Nadal will hope for a more positive ending than Federer’s last year. The Swiss icon hoped to come back one more time on the biggest stages, before his body prevented him from doing so. He had a wonderful send off at the Laver Cup exhibition in London, where he was sat hand-in-hand with Nadal, in emotional scenes. However, it was not the ideal situation for him.

The Spaniard will take some time off to rest in the hope of seeing improvements in his hip and physical condition. If we do see him one more time on the tour, it means he still believes he can win the biggest tournaments in the world. And if he does arrive one more time at Roland Garros, there is every chance we could be looking at a 15-time champion.

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Rafael Nadal Announces First Tournament Since Injury

Rafael Nadal will make his ATP tour comeback in Brisbane.



Rafael Nadal (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Rafael Nadal has confirmed the date for his comeback to the ATP tour as he looks to add more Grand Slam titles to his collection before his potential retirement.


The 22-time Grand Slam champion has announced that his comeback will take place on the first week of the calendar as he will play the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane which starts on the 31st of December.

It will be Nadal’s first tournament since last year’s Australian Open after he suffered a hip injury at the event.

In a video on social media Nadal announced his return to the tour as he looks to make an impact in Brisbane, “After a year away from competition, it’s time to come back. It will be in Brisbane the first week of January,” Nadal stated.

January’s event will be a welcome sight to Nadal as he had initially been expected to return during the clay court season but the hip injury was much worse than expected.

That lead to Nadal doing a press conference in Mallorca where he not only said that he was withdrawing from Roland Garros but also hinted that 2024 could be his last year, “My idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and try to say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me in my tennis career during [next] year, and just try to enjoy that, being competitive and enjoying being on the court, something that today is not possible,” Nadal was quoted by The News as saying.

There is a high level of motivation for Nadal next year as he will want to win the Olympics at Roland Garros in Paris.

However before Nadal can think about the end of his career, the Spaniard will be determined to make an impact in Australia as he looks to stop Novak Djokovic’s dominance.

The tournament in Brisbane starts on the 31st of December while the Australian Open takes place on the 14th of January.

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Nick Kyrgios Opens Up About His Self-Harm Battle And Murray’s Support



Nick Kyrgios (AUS) playing against Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios says he became addicted to pain during his battle with self-harm that lasted between 18 and 24 months.


In an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, the former Wimbledon finalist spoke about his mental health issues. Kyrgios has previously spoken publically about the topic but has now revealed further details about the extent he went through and the role Andy Murray played in supporting him. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward in London and contemplated suicide following the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

“It was pretty dark to be honest,” Kyrgios told Morgan. “I won tournaments on the professional tour, drinking every night, self-harming, burning things on my arm, cutting myself for fun. It became an addiction of pain. I hated myself. I hated waking up and being Nick Kyrgios.”

One of those who tried to help the Australian address his self-harm problem was three-time Grand Slam champion Murray who noticed cuts on Kyrgios’ arms during one of their practice sessions four years ago. According to The Times, the former world No.1 then alerted Kyrgios’ manager John Morris about the cuts.

Paying tribute to the Brit, Kyrgios says Murray has supported him throughout his career. The 28-year-old has been ranked as high as 13th in the world and has won seven ATP titles. Besides his run to the Wimbledon final last year, he has also reached the quarter-final stage of a major on three other occasions.

“Andy was always a big supporter of me,” Kyrgios said. “As soon as I came on the tour, he kind of saw a work in progress and took me under his wing. Then he realised later in my career that I don’t think I was coachable or I was on my own path, but he was always someone that was looking out for me.
“He saw it [the self-harm] and he said, ‘What’s that on your arm?’ It was pretty bad at that stage. Andy obviously was trying to give me advice on it. But I was just so stuck in my ways at that time that I didn’t listen. Obviously I’m very thankful. I thank him a lot.”

Kyrgios, who has only played one match on the Tour this season due to injury, hopes that he can help others by speaking publicly about his mental health battle. Something he describes as ‘the most powerful thing in his career.’

“I feel like I’ve helped so many people after I opened up about it and put it on social media,” Kyrgios said.
“I’ve almost been a beacon for people who are struggling. When they feel like they’re overwhelmed and they’re going towards drinking, drugs and stuff, they open up and they feel like I’m relatable.
“That’s been the most powerful thing in my career; people coming to me with genuine issues.
“They send me photos in my Instagram, direct messages, self-harming and genuinely wanting to commit suicide.
“I have conversations with these people. Sometimes I’ve had phone calls with these people. That’s making a real difference and I’m just really proud.”

Kyrgios recently had a stint in broadcasting after working for The Tennis channel during the ATP Finals in Milan. He is continuing his rehab from injury but it is unclear as to when he will make his return to professional tennis.

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Hamad Medjedovic earns first place in Red Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic beat Abdullah Shelbayh 3-4 (6-8) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) 4-2 to earn first place in the Red Group with a perfect 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 


Medjedovic needed to win at least one set to reach the semifinals, while Shelbayh needed to win the match in three or four sets. Luca Van Assche qualified as the second-placed player from the Red Group.

Medjedovic will face Dominic Stricker in the semifinal, while Van Assche takes on Arthur Fils.  

Medjedovic fired 18 aces and won 88 % of his first-serve points. He saved all three break points against Shelbayh. 

Medjedovic fired a tournament-leading 45 aces and was broken twice. 

Medjedovic saved three break points to hold serve in the fourth game of the first set. Shelbayh went up a mini-break twice, but Medjedovic pulled back on serve both times. Shelbayh won the final three points to clinch the tie-break 8-6. Both players went on serve in the first five games before Medjedovic earned the break to win the second set 4-2. 

The third set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Shelbayh earned the first mini-break to take a 3-2 lead. Medjedovic pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. The Serbian player earned a second mini-break to close out the tie-break 7-5. 

Medjedovic started the fourth set with an early break in the first game. He held on his next service games and sealed the win on his first match point. 

Medjedovic set up a semifinal match against Dominic Stricker. Luc Van Assche will face Arthur Fils in an all-French semifinal.“It was a great match. I played really good after the first set He is a very good friend of mine. He is a very good player and obviously the crowd here loves him and I respect that. It was a pleasure to play in front of the crowd”, said Medjedovic. 

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