Rafael Nadal makes more history at the French Open Kids News Article

Rafael Nadal won his 14th Roland-Garros title on June 5, 2022. (Corinne Dubreuil/FFT/Rolandgaros.com)

Rafael Nadal has once again proven himself to be the ‘King of Clay’. On June 5, 2022, tennis phenomenon beat Casper Rudd in three decisive sets to win a record 14th title at Roland-Garros. The 36-year-old is the oldest French Open men’s singles champion and the first men’s tennis player to win 22 Grand Slam championships – the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic each hold 20 Grand Slam titles.

“For me, it’s very difficult to describe the feelings I have,” Nadal said during the award ceremony on the pitch. “It’s something I never believed. To be here at 36, to be competitive again, playing on the most important court of my career… that says it all. I don’t know what can happen in the future, but I will keep fighting to try and keep going as many times as possible.”

Nadal’s exploits are all the more remarkable as a chronic a foot problem almost pushed him into retirement in 2021. Fortunately, the Spaniard recovered and in January 2022 won his first Grand Slam of the year – the Australian Open. Since then, Nadal has been suffering from a rib injury and the foot pain has also returned. After the Roland-Garros final, the 36-year-old told the media that he had received injections numb pain throughout the two weeks tournament.

Nadal has won more Grand Slams than any other male tennis player in history. (Roland Garros/ Twitter)

“The preparation wasn’t ideal,” Nadal said. “I had a stress break of the coastthen I have the foot [pain], which stays there all the time. I had my doctor here with me — I don’t know how to say in English what we did. We played without foot feeling, we played with a injection in the nerve, so the foot was asleep – that’s why I was able to play.”

The champion now counts undergo a procedure which can provide a long term reprieve pain. The success of the treatment will determine whether he takes part in the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, which begin on June 27. If the procedure doesn’t work, Nadal will have to consider major surgery, which may or may not solve the problem. It will also take a prolonged recovery.

“Wimbledon is a priority, still [has] been a priority. If I am able to play with anti-inflammatories? Yes. Play with anesthetic injections? No. I don’t want to put myself back in this position. Might happen once, but no, it’s not a philosophy life that I want to follow,” Nadal said.

Resources: Rolandgarros.com, ESPN.com, CNN.com.

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