Rafael Nadal has been the story of the tennis season so far in 2022. The Spaniard became the first male player to reach 21 Grand Slam singles titles when he lifted the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.
The 35-year-old will be hoping he can extend his Grand Slam record later this year and his latest success at the Mexican Open indicates he could do that. Nadal defeated Australian Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final and then British player Cameron Norrie in the final in Acapulco.
Nadal has had his fair share of injuries throughout his career. He is now fit and healthy again, while his game is at the highest level. The man from Mallorca will now be embarking on the hard-court season in the UK, with some major ATP 1000 events to contend for.
Nadal’s next opportunity to win a Major will come at the 2022 French Open. He is the +100 favorite in the outright betting for the tournament.
Using a BetMGM bonus code could help bettors scoop a free bet on their first wager to place on the Spaniard for that tournament in Paris. He tops the outright market ahead of Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas respectively.
The world number four has been successful 13 times at Roland-Garros, which is why he is nicknamed the King of Clay. His title defence ended in the semi-final in 2021, as Novak Djokovic produced an impressive display to put out the champion.
Nadal will then feature at Wimbledon in London where he has not been successful on the grass since 2010. He did reach the final in 2011, while in 2018 and 2019 he fell out in the semi-final.
The Australian Open winner will be hoping he ends the Grand Slam season just like it started. The US Open at Flushing Meadows represents another good chance for the former world number one to prevail. He was successful in New York in 2010, 2013 and 2019, so it has been a happy hunting ground for him.
Djokovic and Medvedev Are Likely to Push Nadal Hard
Djokovic did not feature in Melbourne at the start of the year, but the Serbian will be eager to level with Nadal on 21 Grand Slams later in the season. He recently lost his number one spot in the world rankings, so he will be highly motivated to bounce back to his best.
Last year, Djokovic was successful in the opening three Grand Slam tournaments of the year. He came up just short in his bid to win the Calendar Grand Slam, losing in the final of the US Open to Medvedev.
The 2021 US Open winner was leading by two sets in the final of the Australian Open earlier this year, before Nadal produced a sensational comeback.
The Russian is expected to be in contention once again for all the major events in 2022, so it would be no surprise if he faced Nadal again at the latter stages of a Grand Slam event.
Nadal will end his career as one of the greatest players to ever grace the sport. More success in 2022 will just add to his incredible legacy on court.