'I never asked myself the question in relation to Rafael Nadal', says former ace

Rafael Nadal managed to win two Grand Slams in 2022

'I never asked myself the question in relation to Rafael Nadal', says former ace

Despite the usual physical problems, Rafael Nadal managed to win two Grand Slams in 2022. The Spanish phenomenon won the Australian Open and Roland Garros, proving once again that he is a living legend. His performance dropped in the second half of the season, also due to the tear in his abs sustained during Wimbledon. The 36-year-old from Manacor tried in every possible way to recover in record time, but had to give up on the eve of the semifinal against Nick Kyrgios. That injury also conditioned his approach to the US Open, where he failed to go beyond the round of 16 (beaten in four sets by Frances Tiafoe). His 2022 ended quite sadly with premature eliminations in Paris-Bercy and at the ATP Finals in Turin. During Roland Garros 2022, a major controversy erupted when Rafa announced that he had to undergo a series of foot infiltrations. Speaking to Eurosport, the former French player Arnaud Clement defended the Iberian. Recently, tennis players such as Simona Halep, Fernando Verdasco and Kamil Majchrzak have tested positive for banned substances.

Clement defends Rafa Nadal

“I never asked myself the question in relation to Rafael Nadal, especially after the last Roland Garros, everything he did. In addition, he even almost made it public. So at some point, there are rules, we follow them or we go beyond them, but in no case, Rafael Nadal was on drugs, I believe. I have absolutely no doubts about the ethics of this player," Clement told Eurosport. "It's not because a player is particularly physical or athletic that he is doped. You have to be careful with this kind of shortcut. We could also see players who were taken for doping and we said to ourselves, 'but no, not him, it's weird', because it's not the physics we imagine for a doped guy." In recent times though, Nadal has become a more offensive player, standing closer to the baseline and taking the initiative in points as soon as possible. That has made him a significantly bigger threat on non-clay surfaces, and has helped him win big titles on grass and hardcourts too. Tennis legend Rafael Nadal teased Casper Ruud in jest after the Norwegian won the 2022 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. "No way!!! They don't know you!!! Many congrats, you deserve it 100%! Super happy for you!" the Spaniard wrote. He received the award for his fair play, professionalism, and integrity on and off the court.