These first months of 2022 have given us many emotions and twists. Rafael Nadal left everyone speechless by winning the Australian Open, after recovering two sets behind Daniil Medvedev in the final. The 35-year-old Spaniard has thus surpassed Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time rankings of the Majors, as well as becoming the fourth man in history to have won all the Grand Slams at least twice.
Djokovic, for his part, paid a very high price for his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. The world number 1 won only two games in 2022 and suffered serious reputational damage from the Australian soap opera.
The 34-year-old from Belgrade hopes to regain pace and confidence in view of Roland Garros, where he will be called upon to defend the title he won last year. The situation regarding Federer is different, recovering from yet another operation on his right knee.
The Swiss champion hopes to return in late summer or early autumn. During a long interview with ‘Punto de Break’, the well-known coach Gabriel Jaramillo illustrated how the standardization of surfaces has helped the Big 3 to remain competitive.
Jaramillo on the Big 3
“At that time, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were playing very well. I think the intention of this surface change was that the three could compete against each other every week, because they had the largest viewership.
The tournaments were made on purpose for this. They knew that if the court was too fast, Nadal might not go that far; and that if the court was too slow, Federer would go down the drain. The idea was that they could always face each other, it was the only way to keep people glued to the television” – Gabriel Jaramillo stated.
With clay being his favorite surface, it certainly should have been disappointing for Nadal to watch from the sidelines. Nadal suffered a rib injury during his semifinal win over Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals in Indian Wells.
He further aggravated his injury during the final against Fritz in the Californian desert. Subsequently, Nadal has been on the sidelines and missed Monte Carlo Masters, and will not feature at this week’s Barcelona Open as well.
Depending on his recovery, he could return to action at the earliest at the Madrid Masters in the first week of May. Rafael Nadal had a good run at the 2022 Indian Wells Masters but suffered a rib stress fracture during the latter stages of the tournament.