By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Rafael Nadal has a lot to do in 2022. He’s a new dad, away from his first-time newborn, and he’s a 36-year-old warrior, trying to get his body to behave so that he can put himself in position to compete for the greatest sporting titles.
What he doesn’t have on his plate is a fight for the No. 1 ranking.
Despite Nadal having a chance to finish the season as ATP No. 1, which would mark the sixth time he has achieved the feat, second-ranked Nadal says it is the thing furthest from his mind as he prepares for his final two. 2022 events in Paris and the ATP Finals in Turin.
“I’m not fighting to be number one, you know? I just fight to stay competitive in all the events I’ve been in,” he said. “Something I said a long time ago: I will not fight to be number 1 anymore. I have done this in the past. I have achieved this goal a few times in my career, and I have been very, very happy and proud to have achieved it.
“But I’m at a point in my tennis career where I’m not fighting to be No. 1.”
Rafael Nadal: “To be clear: I’m not fighting to be number one. I’m fighting to be competitive at every event I play. I won’t do that again at this point in my career. I had that goal in the past, I was happy and proud to achieve it, 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 more points 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 hasn’t taken the court in singles since falling to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round of the US Open. He had an incredibly successful season, winning two majors, but he also struggled with rib, foot and abdominal injuries.
He does not know how he will behave at Bercy, but he is eager to try his luck.
“When you come back from a time out of competition it’s hard to know how you’re going to play, how your body is going to react, because obviously the level of the tour is different,” he said. . “It’s true that it’s been an incredible year in terms of results, but at the same time it’s true that it’s been a difficult year in terms of injuries. Just excited to be here. I’m here to do my best. So accept the way things happen.
“Hopefully I’ll be ready for tomorrow and try to be competitive. Let’s see. I’m excited about it.