Rafael Nadal won his opening round in the 2022 US Open, and he made history in the process with an incredible hot streak seen just a few times before.
The 36-year-old tennis icon got off to a dominant start in the US Open, taking down Rinky Hijikata 3-1 in their showdown at the Artur Ashe Staidum. Hijikata bagged the opening set, but it didn’t take long for Rafa to find his rhythm and won three straight. He is now moving on the second round where he will be facing Italian star Fabio Fognini.
With his first-round win, Nadal has now recorded 20 straight victories in all major tournaments–excluding his walkover in Wimbledon. On his way to the Australian Open and French Open titles, he won 14 straight. He added five victories in the England grand slam, though he could have probably gotten more had he not suffered an abdominal tear that forced him to withdraw in the semifinals.
Regardless, Nadal has just become the fourth man in the Open Era (1968) to record multiple 20-match winning streaks in the grand slam tournaments. He joins the likes Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg.
Djokovic actually did it four times in his career, while Federer achieved it three times, per ESPN Stats and Info.
With his First Round win at the US Open, Rafael Nadal improves to 20-0 in majors this season.
He becomes the 4th man since the Open Era began in 1968 to record multiple 20-match winning streaks in majors joining Novak Djokovic (4), Roger Federer (3) and Bjorn Borg (2). pic.twitter.com/FfS8QKcGEc
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 31, 2022
Of course it’s unlikely Rafael Nadal would care about such stat. It’s useless anyway unless he wins the title. But for sure he wouldn’t wish for a better start than that.
It remains to be seen if Nadal can keep the streak going, but all eyes will surely be on him as the US Open continues.