Martina Navratilova has predicted Rafael Nadal to win the 2022 Roland Garros
Martina Navratilova believes Rafael Nadal will be the favorite at this year’s Roland Garros, provided the Spaniard can stay healthy. Nadal cut his 2021 season short in August to give his foot enough time to heal after aggravating the problem at Roland Garros.
During a recent interview with the Tennis Channel, Navratilova said the biggest hurdle standing in the way of Nadal and a 14th French Open title was his fitness.
The 65-year-old was less enthusiastic about the World No. 9’s chances at the other three Majors though. According to Navratilova, the chasing pack has improved considerably in recent years, diminishing Nadal’s chances outside clay.
“If Rafael Nadal is healthy in 2022 and his foot is back to normal, I still think he will win the French Open,” Navratilova said. “But I don’t think he can win anything else. The other guys are getting too good. I just hope he is healthy.”
Having missed the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open, Nadal returned to competitive tennis at the Melbourne Summer Set this week.
The Spaniard will take on Maxime Cressy in Sunday‘s final. A title leading up to the Australian Open will give Nadal much-needed momentum ahead of his quest for a 21st Grand Slam.
Rafael Nadal has only lost three matches at Roland Garros
Novak Djokovic thwarted Rafael Nadal from winning his 21st Grand Slam at the 2021 French Open
Rafael Nadal was gunning for a record-extending 14th French Open title last year but lost to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. The Serb defeated Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 and followed it up by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final to lift his 19th Grand Slam crown.
The loss was Nadal’s third in the tournament in 108 matches, and the first time he had been defeated after taking the opening set.
Former doubles World No. 1 Rennae Stubbs went as far as to claim that Djokovic’s triumph over Nadal on the Spaniard’s favorite surface represented “a real changing of the guard” in terms of who would cement their status as the GOAT.
But given Nadal’s record at the Paris Slam, it would take a brave person to bet against the Spaniard this year.