Rafael Nadal remains the best player in 2022 despite dealing with a chronic foot injury and a rib injury that saw him miss most of the clay court season. The setbacks failed to deter the Spaniard as he went on to claim a record-extending 14th French Open title on Sunday.

The 36-year-old was battling a recurring foot injury during the entire duration of the tournament in Paris, and revealed that it took "numbing injections" to get through his games. Nadal continued to talk of retirement despite claiming an unprecedented 22nd Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.

Nadal first spoke of potentially calling time on his career ahead of his game against Novak Djokovic when he suggested that any match could be his last on the famed red dirt of Paris. He continued to do so despite cruising to victory against Casper Rudd on Sunday.

"It's obvious with the circumstances that I am playing, I can't and I don't want to keep going," Nadal said after his 6-3,6-3,6-0 win, as quoted on BBC Sport.

Rafael Nadal
Too good: Rafael Nadal celebrates Thomas SAMSON/AFP

"I have been playing with injections on the nerves to numb the foot and that's why I was able to play during these two weeks," he added. "I have no feelings in my foot, because my doctor was able to put anaesthetic injections on the nerves. That takes out the feeling on my foot."

Nadal revealed that he was planning to undergo radiofrequency ablation - which uses heat on the nerve to quell long-term pain. However, if that does not work, surgery would be the only long-term solution, which the Spaniard is unsure of, owing to the lengthy recovery process.

"If that works, I am going to keep going. If that doesn't work, then it is going to be another story," Nadal said.

"Then I will have to ask myself if I am ready to do a major surgery that doesn't guarantee me to be able to be competitive again and could take a long time to be back."

Rafael Nadal
Trophy moment: Rafael Nadal celebrates Anne-Christine POUJOULAT/AFP