By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Rafael Nadal has a lot on his plate in 2022. He’s a new father, away from his newborn for the first time, and he’s a 36-year-old warrior, trying to get his body to behave so he can put himself in position to compete for the sports’ biggest titles.
What he does not have on his plate, is a fight for the No.1 ranking.
Despite the fact that Nadal has a shot to finish the season as the ATP’s No.1, which would mark the sixth time he’s achieved the feat, second-ranked Nadal says it is the furthest thing from his mind as he prepares for his final two events of 2022 at Paris and the ATP Finals in Turin.
“I don’t fight to be No. 1, you know? I just fight to keep being competitive in every event that I played,” he said. “Something that I said since a long time ago: I will not fight anymore to be No. 1. I did in the past. I achieved that goal a couple of times in my career, and I have been very, very happy and proud about achieving that.
“But I am in a moment of my tennis career that I don’t fight to be No. 1.”
Rafael Nadal : “To be clear : I don’t fight to be number one. I fight to be competitive to every event where I play. I will not do it anymore at this stage of my career. I had this goal in the past, I was happy and proud to achieve that, the first time in 2008.” (© A/R.Panoramic) pic.twitter.com/R1lo6xCSSa
— Tennis Majors (@Tennis_Majors) November 1, 2022
Nadal, who trails Carlos Alcaraz by 830 points in the Race and has no points left to defend in 2022, enters his second-round clash with Tommy Paul at the Paris Masters with relatively low expectations. The 22-time Slam champion has not taken the singles court since falling to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round of the US Open. He has had an incredibly successful season, winning two majors, but he has also struggled mightily with injuries to his ribs, his foot and his abdomen.
He’s not sure how he’ll perform in Bercy, but he’s eager to give it a shot.
“When you are coming back from a period of time outside of the competition, it’s difficult to know how you’re going to be playing, how your body is gonna respond, because it’s obvious that the tour level is different,” he said. “It’s true that have been an amazing year in terms of results, but at the same time is true that have been a tough year in terms of injuries. Just excited to be here. I am here to try my best. Then accept the how the things are coming.
“Hopefully I will be ready for tomorrow, and I’m gonna try to be competitive. Let’s see. I am excited about it.”
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