Rafael Nadal: What two pundits find hard to believe after US Open – ‘Just unreal’ | Tennis | Sport

Rafael Nadal just seems to keep on going, and has now reached 19 Grand Slam wins meaning he is just one shy of Roger Federer’s record of 20.

The 33-year-old edged Russia’s Medvedev 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 in New York in one of the greatest US Open finals of all-time.

After the display, tennis pundits David Law and Catherine Whitaker couldn’t help but point out what a season it has been for the Spaniard after what was such a difficult start to the year.

Nadal struggled at the back end of 2018, undergoing minor ankle surgery meaning he was forced to miss the ATP World Tour finals in London.

In March, he was forced to withdraw from the Indian Wells Maters semi-finals with a knee injury and nearly called time on his season to focus on preserving his condition for the future.

Now he’s certainly glad he didn’t do that, having won the French Open and the US Open as well as claiming titles in Rome and Montreal.

David Law said on the Tennis Podcast: “He obviously missed a lot of time through injury, look at his year. Just look at his year.

Catherine Whitaker then asked the question: “It’s one of his all-time great years. Is it his best ever year?”

To which Law responded: “Final of the Australian Open, won Roland Garros, semi-finals of Wimbledon, won US Open.

“He’s won Montreal [his first ever successful defence on a hardcourt].

“It’s like all semi-finals or better? I can’t remember if he’s lost anything before the semi-finals, I don’t think he has.

“It is just unreal what he is doing.”

Nadal told the ATP website after beating Dominic Thiem in the French Open final: “Mentally, after Indian Wells, I suffered a major downturn.

“I considered shutting down my season to see if my body would recuperate instead of playing through injury after injury.

“Another option was to press on and play through the pain. Either way, the outlook was bleak. It required a change of mindset… and that doesn’t happen overnight.

“I was reluctant and hesitant to return. Physically, because of another tendon tear in my knee, and on top of going through all the treatment required in the recovery process, there was dealing with the pain.”

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