Nadal: “I don’t set a deadline, life shows you the path”

The Spaniard will return to the circuit this Tuesday in Barcelona

April 15, 2024

Pedro Salado/Real Club Tennis Barcelona

Rafael Nadal appears at a press conference before playing the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 2024.
By Staff

The excitement of participating in a tennis tournament again fills the soul of Rafael Nadal, present at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell this week. The former world No. 1, away from the competition since last January 5, is making an effort in Barcelona for simple reasons: having the opportunity to play at home, hitting the ball with ease and trying to enjoy himself on the courts, something he longs for after doing it for a lifetime.

“I’m happy to be here,” declared the Spaniard, who has not set foot in the Conde de Godó since lifting his 12th trophy in the 2021 season. “I have many very good memories of this tournament. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to star in recent years. Luckily, I was able to come as a last minute decision, I tried it. I hadn’t come before because I didn’t really know what to decide. I think that, as far as possible, the week of training has been positive. Tomorrow I will be on the track.”

The match he will play against the Italian Flavio Cobolli, current No. 62 in the PIF ATP Rankings, will be the gateway to the circuit after an eternal wait for everyone. Fans flock to the Real Club de Tennis Barcelona 1899 to see one of their most illustrious heroes, aware of the long road traveled to reach this moment.

ATP WTA Live App

After overcoming an unprecedented 2023 season, after undergoing psoas surgery and an old hip problem, the Spaniard returned to the ATP Tour during the month of January in Brisbane. In the Australian tournament he had two victories before losing to Jordan Thompson in the quarterfinals, a match in which he ended up injured.

Rafa suffered a small muscle tear in the area that had kept him off the courts in 2023, forcing him not to compete in the Australian Open or the ATP 250 in Doha, two tournaments where he planned to compete at the beginning of the season. Subsequently, prudence made him give up the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the Miami Open presented by Itaú and the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the first three ATP Masters 1000 on the calendar.

A reality that the Mallorcan faces with the most absolute normality, looking squarely at the facts on his return to professional competition.

“It doesn’t make me doubt anything, the question is whether I can or I can’t,” he explained. “They have been two difficult years, I am coming from a major hip operation that took a year to recover from. When that happens it is difficult. Things happen in the body and they haven’t let me follow my calendar as I would have liked. Accepting situations: when you can, you can; When you can’t, you can’t. As much as it hurts me to miss certain tournaments, it is what it is. I must weigh all the good things that have happened to me throughout my life. At this point in my career, unfortunately or not, I am in a different situation.”

You May Also Be Interested in: Nadal’s return and more stories of the week on the ATP Tour

With a grateful mentality, the twelve-time champion savors every moment he has the opportunity to live in Barcelona, ​​where the heat of the competition is once again with him.

“More than lamenting where I haven’t been able to be, I’m happy to be here. On a personal level, for me it is a gift to be in Barcelona. I take it as my last year, I want to try to enjoy every moment. All of that takes on a little more special meaning. I currently have this feeling. The fact that I couldn’t be in Monte Carlo last week hurt me but, luckily, things have improved for this week. I feel ready to go out and play tomorrow. Without thinking about anything further: how I arrive or how I don’t arrive. I am aware of what the situation is. Things can happen, I’m just preparing. But I am realistic that, for me, simply being here is an illusion and a joy to be able to play in this tournament and on this court.

In an event that he has been competing in for more than two decades, since his first participation in the 2003 season, the Mallorcan reflected on the emotions that an edition different from any other generates in him.

“On other occasions I have been excited to come with the feeling that I had a good chance of winning. “I’m not going to say that this one is more exciting than others,” explained Nadal. “They have all been special and important to me. Luckily, I have experienced many that have left me great memories. In this life it is what it is: a beginning and an end in every sense. On a sporting level, I don’t know what may happen in the future. Today I take it as if it will be my last participation in the Godó. This is my current feeling. I’m going to try to enjoy it in any way I can, without giving up being competitive. I’m not going to go out to pay tribute, I’m going to try to do my best to give myself opportunities. The training week has been positive and I’m going to go all out.”


Leave a Reply