• Rafael Nadal won two Grand Slams this year
  • His last appearance was at Laver Cup
  • Nadal is a 22-time Grand Slam champion

Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni, who was also his former coach, says his nephew this year "has been in more trouble than one can bear sometimes."

Last year, after the end of the clay season, Nadal competed in Citi Open. But a third-round defeat eliminated him from the hard-court tournament. Following that, he withdrew from the remaining competitions as he was recovering from a foot injury.

To everyone's surprise, Nadal made a flying start in 2022, winning 20 matches in a row, his career-best. The same period saw the Spaniard win three ATP titles, including the Australian Open. American player Taylor Fritz broke Nadal's streak by defeating the former World No. 1 in the final of Indian Wells. Nadal had suffered a rib stress fracture.

The Spaniard, known for his never-giving-up attitude, made a comeback once again and clinched a record-extending 22nd Grand Slam by winning the Rolland Garros.

Speaking about Nadal's 2022 season, Toni said the player's physical issues had overshadowed an otherwise memorable run.

"Today I talked to him and now he is fine. It is true that he has had a difficult year. It could have been an extraordinary season, but it has been marred by the continual inconvenience he has had," Toni told Spanish outlet Diario AS.

The injuries saw Nadal withdraw from Wimbledon just ahead of his semi-final clash with Nick Kyrgios. Nadal also lost to Frances Tiafoe in the US Open.

"The results went well because he won Australia and Roland Garros, but you leave with a bitter taste in your mouth. At Wimbledon, he couldn't play a semifinal when he was playing well and was a clear candidate for the title, also had problems in New York. What an athlete wants above all else is to be well and play, and also to win. My nephew has won, but he has been in more trouble than one can bear sometimes," added Toni.

Roger Federer (right) and Rafael Nadal attend a practice session ahead of the 2022 Laver Cup in London

Nadal's last appearance was at the Laver Cup, where he teamed up with Roger Federer in a doubles match, which was the Swiss star's final appearance as an active player. Since then, there have been several questions gone Nadal's way about his retirement plans.

However, according to Toni, Nadal still has the desire to play. Even though he has been suffering from injuries, his uncle does not believe the 22-time Grand Slam champion has reached his last in professional tennis.

"It is true that he has had different problems and this affects you in the end, but the main thing is that he wants to play. To one who has that desire, I would never tell him to stop. Of course, if one is suffering more than necessary, there comes a time when you say you're leaving. But Rafael has not reached this situation," added Toni.