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Nadal continues taking steps in Rome

The Spaniard has won 10 titles in Rome

May 08, 2024

Peter Staples/ATP Tour

By Staff

Rafael Nadal continues his comeback this week at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, an ATP Masters 1000 tournament that he has won 10 times. The Spaniard returned to the circuit last month in Barcelona before competing in Madrid, where he reached the fourth round.

Nadal lost to Jiri Lehecka in the Spanish capital on Tuesday. The Spaniard returned home before arriving in the Italian capital at the weekend.

“I was at home for a few days and I arrived here on Saturday,” Nadal said during his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday. “I have managed to train more or less well during the last few days. I am excited to play in Rome. It is a tournament that brings back many unforgettable memories for me. It is my third consecutive week on the circuit, my third consecutive tournament. It is something that has not happened in a long time. That’s good news.”

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Pleased with his recent progress, Nadal believes patience will be key in Rome, where he will start against Belgian Zizou Bergs on Tuesday.

“It is something that is not constant every day. It is not a line like that [ascendente]but rather like this [con altos y bajos]”said Nadal. “After Barcelona, ​​I experienced difficult moments in Madrid. Even on my first day here. But with a general perspective, the line is ascending without any doubt. I feel happy to be where I am today, a month ago it was almost impossible to think that Barcelona, ​​Madrid and being in Rome will play. “Those things are happening.”

“It is true that I have managed to accept the challenge, accept moments in which I could not force the way I wanted. By doing things in an appropriate way, trying to avoid risks by forcing too much in the games, I am managing to advance. Madrid was a good test for me to play two consecutive days and a match of more than three hours. My feelings were better also in terms of tennis. Why not? I’m here to give my best.

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Nadal is 69-8 at the Foro Italico, where he won his first title during his debut in 2005. The former No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings defeated Guillermo Coria in an epic five-set final, also defeating Roger Federer in a decisive set in the 2006 final.

Before facing his possible last participation in Rome, the Spaniard fondly remembered both games.

“Playing here is always special. The stands are always very passionate. I played incredible matches against Coria and Roger the first two times I came to the tournament,” Nadal said. “I have managed to win the tournament on many occasions. This event is part of the history of our sport. It is very traditional, a very important tournament on our circuit. I am excited and feel lucky to play it again at this point in my career. “I’m motivated for tomorrow and for the rest of the tournament.”


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