July 16, 2024
Rafael Nadal

“Rafael Nadal Makes Winning Start in Rome, Reveals Plans Ahead of French Open”
Nadal says he has come to the point where there is nothing to wait for as the Spanish tennis star is now planning to test his body to the fullest and see how much he can really do going into the French Open.

After returning in Barcelona three weeks ago and also playing at the Madrid Masters, Nadal also kicked off his Rome Masters campaign on Thursday with a tight 4-6 6-3 6-4 win over Zizou Bergs. By beating Bergs, Nadal set up a second-round meeting against Hubert Hurkacz and also improved to 5-2 since making a comeback in Barcelona.

But even though Nadal managed to return to tennis three weeks ago, it was evident that he looked limited in some aspects. Later, Nadal admitted that he was purposely avoiding some things because of fear of suffering an injury or a setback again.

However, now that Nadal has survived Barcelona and Madrid and that he has just Rome before the French Open, he feels it is time for him to go all in and see what happens.

Last year, Nadal had hip surgery after suffering an injury to his psoas muscle. When Nadal returned to action in Brisbane, he suffered a tear in the same hip area and he later also battled an abdominal issue.

In Rome, Nadal suggested that he was still thinking about what happened in Brisbane when he returned three weeks and that it was not easy for him to just to out there and play freely.

Nadal: I have made some progress, now I want to push myself and see what happens
“I did this progress the last three weeks on the tour. But arrive the moment that I need to try, I need to go for everything. If something happens, something happens. That’s the true,” Nadal said.

“(It) Is not like in Madrid, (it) is not like in Barcelona, especially that I need to analyze how the things are improving, to explore if I am able to adapt all these things to the new weeks. But that’s over and we are in Rome.
“I have Roland Garros in just two weeks and a half, so… Arrive a moment that I need to prove myself if I am able to push my body to the limit that I need to push to feel myself ready for what’s coming.

“I am not talking only about Roland Garros. I am talking about the next match. I need to lose this fear. Matches like today help. Some moments I was moving faster. Some moments not. I need to get used to that, to take that risk.

“It’s a moment to me that happen. If something wrong happens, we going to accept it. But that’s the moment to push. I feel more ready to try it than before.”
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal keeps it realistic: I need to accept that my level can vary now
Against world No. 108 Bergs, Nadal struggled but ultimately managed to come back from a set down and avoid a very early exit.
While many weren’t encouraged by Nadal’s opening performance in Rome, the 22-time Grand Slam champion refused to be negative about his play versus Bergs. Also, Nadal made one very realistic comment, saying that he has accepted that inconsistent play from his side can happen on the court considering his current situation.

“No, I see it like a very positive today. Even if I didn’t play well, that for me was a little bit in some ways surprising, in another hand not surprising because I didn’t play much tennis for almost two years,” Nadal said.

“I need to accept that my level, it’s a little bit more on and off. It’s not like used to be that was very stable everything. I need to find this stability again. Matches like today helps, no?”

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

In his next match, Nadal will be facing a very difficult test when he meets No. 7 seed Hurkacz. Heading into the match, Nadal admitted he hopes to play better than he did against Bergs but also noted that may not happen.

“Maybe in two days I will not play well. That’s true. That’s a possibility. But I hope to be able to play much better than today, to start thinking another way,” Nadal noted.

“Let’s see. I mean, I am excited with the victory. That’s give me the chance to keep going. I am very happy for that.”

Although Nadal hasn’t played much in the last two years, it is still a bit surprising that he will be facing Hurkacz for the first time just now. If Nadal manages to play better and beat Hurkacz, that would certainly be absolutely massive for the Spaniard.

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