In his first intervention before the media this year in Madrid, Rafael Nadal is asked about nostalgia, about that 2005 in the Casa de Campo, when he knocked down Croatian Ivan Ljubicic in the final, in the first of his five titles in the tournament. “What I miss is the youth. All the years that have been added, I don’t like them, although I think I have been consistent and I have always been accepting every moment of my life, ”the 20 grand champion replied. Then everything was new for him, and now it is neither better nor worse, just different.
“You enjoy it in a different way, but not for that reason with less intensity,” he continues after commenting that he looks good, prepared for the assault on the Caja Mágica, a difficult territory to govern since the height and speed are atypical compared to other tournaments on land. The Mallorcan says that he feels good, happy to return to the San Fermín neighborhood despite the fact that regulations prevent him from walking around Madrid these days. “And there is a big difference: we have an audience, and that encourages energetically to tolerate everything else,” he says.
Since his landing on Thursday, with the Barcelona trophy under his arm, Nadal has been working in a double session. “And I don’t know, I may as well do it today. We’ll see if I can do it, “he continues, while demanding a coup because Roland Garros (May 30-June 13) is beginning to appear on the horizon and, therefore,” it is time to tighten, to do an important effort for the next three months ”and, above all, to preserve the good ground left by the victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas a week ago, at the Godó.
“What I would like is to win, basically, because if I win it will mean that I have done a lot of things well. Barcelona was an important step forward, but what I would like to feel is that I am playing well. Winning or losing is part of our sport, and more so with the conditions here, which are a little more uncontrollable, but I want to have the feeling that the service has found me better, that I’m safer on the track and that I have control. I would like to go to Rome with a positive feeling ”, he says.
She does it just after Naomi Osaka, the current great reference of the women’s circuit, has hit a good bump in the sand against Karolina Muchova: 6-4, 3-6 and 6-1 for the Czech. After take off LightWithout too much chicha, the tournament begins to win revolutions and Nadal answers: What do you need in the next seven days? “I need to feel that I am playing well, that I am competitive against everyone, and this is what has happened since I returned to competition. I lost a game against Rublev, on a day when I didn’t play well at all, really, but I was competitive, I fought until the end. In Barcelona I think that the competitiveness was excellent, and that the game went from less to more ”, describes the one from Manacor, who faces his fourth appointment of an atypical season and will debut, probably on Wednesday, against the winner of the duel between Carlos Alcaraz and Adrian Mannarino.
“When you play very little, the day may come when the sensations are not so good or the automatisms are more difficult to find,” he continues; “So it is more difficult to find solutions, which is what happened to me in Monte Carlo. In Barcelona I made adjustments and had to overcome difficult moments, and I got the title. In the end, when you get those titles in which things have not been shot, they are the ones that have the most value “, he underlines before closing and going to the dining room:” I think I have made the right path to get here. “