Roland Garros

“I’m going to try to squeeze every minute out of Rafa as a fan”

The circuit’s companions did not miss Nadal’s match at Roland Garros

May 28, 2024


Rafael Nadal has played 116 matches in his career at Roland Garros (112-4).
By Staff

Nobody wanted to miss the match that Rafael Nadal played this Monday against Alexander Zverev in the first round of Roland Garros. Not even his circuit mates. Although other ATP Tour stars such as Novak Djokovic or Carlos Alcaraz or WTA world No. 1 Iga Swiatek could be seen in the Philippe Chatrier stands, many of his compatriots followed the match.

“Obviously it is a very nice match to watch as a tennis fan,” said a luxury spectator like Alcaraz, who was in the stands until the last point. “I had not been lucky enough to see Nadal live here at Roland Garros, I think it is the first match I have seen him live. Since I could, it was an experience I had to live. It was a match with Zverev, even though he lost and, honestly, what better way to see it until the last moment.”

Another of those who followed the meeting was Jaume Munar from the Balearic Islands, who for many years shared hours of training at the facilities of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Manacor (Mallorca). “I watched it from start to finish. “I wasn’t going to miss something like that and I’m going to try to squeeze every minute out of Rafa as a fan, because it’s a pleasure,” he said this Tuesday, after his premiere with a victory in Paris.

“I saw it,” Pablo Carreño Busta also commented, after returning to competition at Roland Garros. “I think he raised the level compared to the rest of the game he had played, but in the end it is normal. “He has been unemployed for a long time and it is not just the level, it is losing the fear of giving 100%, of moving, forgetting that you have been injured.”

The Asturian, who had not played a Grand Slam for fifteen months at the 2023 Australian Open, is experiencing a situation similar to that of his compatriot. “Now I am in a similar situation. Obviously, I am five years younger and, perhaps, I have a little more margin, but I know that it will be hard to always go with the uncertainty of whether I am going to react well or not. Rafa, in every tournament he is playing, looks better and I hope he can continue that progression and play for as many years as possible.”

That is the wish that Munar also shares. “For my part, I hope he continues playing. He is the one who has to take the step, we do not have to withdraw him or ask him too many questions, because what we all want is for him to continue playing because as a fan, as a tennis player, I think it is spectacular to have him on the court,” he indicated.

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina also did not miss it from his room, while he was resting for his match this Tuesday, which he won with triumph: “I saw it from home, since I was playing earlier today. “We put it on TV and I watched the whole game.”

“It is true that Zverev came with a lot of confidence, it has been seen that he was very confident,” continued X-raying the No. 32 of the PIF ATP Rankings. “In the end Rafa is Rafa, but it is true that he did not look the same Rafa as always. “If Zverev withstood that pressure and was calm in the important moments, in the end the weight of winning matches was weighing more.”

Although Munar makes a point again in this regard. “I saw him against one of the fittest players – if not the fittest – on the clay circuit coming from winning Rome, I think he was at a very high level, and Rafa was there, he explained. “Yesterday’s game left me with the taste of wanting to see more of Rafa because he really is at the level, yesterday he competed against a very good guy and he was there.”

Nobody knows what the future will bring, but what is clear is that every minute of Nadal on the court, at this point, is a gift that everyone wants to enjoy.


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