Why Rafael Nadal is wearing pink at the 2022 US Open

Joshua Rogers August 31, 2022
Why Rafael Nadal is wearing pink at the 2022 US Open
Photo by COREY SIPKIN/AFP via Getty Images

After his round victory, fans wanted to know why Rafael Nadal is wearing pink at the 2022 US Open. It’s a color he has done well in before and the Spaniard will no doubt be hoping it serves him well in New York again.

The final Grand Slam event of the year is here and Rafael Nadal is bidding for a record-23rd Grand Slam title. The Spaniard is the no.2 seed at Flushing Meadows, New York, and is aiming for his fifth US Open title.

Nadal has been repeatedly sidelined by injuries this season, including a rib stress fracture in Indian Wells, and an abdominal tear at Wimbledon. Despite the setbacks he has won two majors this year (Australian Open and French Open) and remains in the hunt for a third.

While the absence of Novak Djokovic remains a talking point, Nadal still finds himself on the tough side of the draw, with the likes of Cameron Norrie, Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov, Frances Tiafoe and Holger Rune all potentially awaiting.

Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Fans were loving Nadal in pink during his first-round match

On Tuesday (30 August) the 36-year-old kicked off his US Open campaign with a first-round match against Australian wildcard Rinky Hijikata.

Nadal had a wobbly start, losing the first set to the world no.198, 4-6. However, he was able to recover and rally to a 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-3 victory.

It was a solid win for the Spaniard, but for the most part, fans were preoccupied with Nadal wearing pink. Rafa wore a maroon colored t-shirt with pink headbands and sweatbands during the match, as well as a pink cap and jacket before and after the match.

It isn’t the first time he’s caused a stir in pink either. He turned heads at the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters with his bright pink shorts.

However, US Open fans seemingly enjoyed his New York attire:

Why Rafael Nadal is wearing pink at the 2022 US Open

Fans wanted to know why Rafael Nadal is wearing pink and if it symbolized something in particular. However, the reason is pretty straightforward – it’s to do with his sponsor, Nike.

Nadal, and many other top Nike athletes, have worn pink at other Grand Slam events in the past. Ahead of the 2018 Australian Open, Nike revealed why they decided to dress their players in pink during events.

“We worked closely with the color team on finding the best shades for the most impactful read off the incredible blue courts,” said Nike’s Apparel Design Director, Sam Shipley (via Sporting News). “The challenge of designing for a quick impression is creating a simple, but instantly recognizable and bold design.”

Nike evidently favors the vivid pink against the blue background of Flushing Meadows, which certainly helps both the athlete and brand stand out.

Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Nadal has had plenty of success in pink

Nike’s primary colorways often change from season to season though and can include orange, blue, and green. It just so happens that Nike has decided on pink for 2022.

However, the top players wearing Nike clothes usually have two outfits, at least for the US Open. Nadal will often wear pink for the daytime sessions and black for his night matches. At this year’s US Open he has worn maroon and pink at night and a white t-shirt with a vibrant red for the day sessions.

However, the pink does seem to work well for Nadal (who we already know is an extremely superstitious person). Nadal wore a similar hot pink in 2017 when he won the US Open, as well as vibrant purple when he won the 2022 Australian Open this year.

Perhaps he’s hoping the positive pink omens will reward him in New York this year:

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Joshua is a Senior Sports Writer at GRV Media with over five years of experience in online writing and editing. After receiving a BA (Hons) in Ancient History and an MA in Sports Journalism, he became a writer for a leading social publisher with over 7 million Facebook followers. Joshua then joined Reach PLC, covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online and regional publications like the Liverpool Echo. He then moved to a social media marketing agency and content studio, Brave Bison, acting as Website Editor for The Hook. Joshua now oversees all sports content on The Focus, specializing in NBA, NFL, F1, and tennis, while also keeping a close eye on his beloved Manchester United.