Nadal: “Madrid’s support has been unconditional”

The Spaniard will debut this Thursday at the Caja Mágica

April 24, 2024

Diego Souto/Mutua Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal appears before the press at the Mutua Madrid.
By Staff

Rafael Nadal lives at the Mutua Madrid Open with his feet on the ground. The Spaniard appeared this Wednesday at the Caja Mágica, where he will compete for the last time before the stands of the Spanish capital. In a totally realistic press conference, the five-time champion appeared before writing the page that will close his story in the tournament.

“I face it with enthusiasm. Playing in Madrid has been something very nice. It is difficult for me to say that I have received the support received here elsewhere in the world. “I’m looking forward to playing here once again,” explained the former world No. 1, who will make his debut this Thursday against the American Darwin Blanch. “The week has been in some ways good and in some ways not so good. I don’t think I’m ready to play at 100%. I’m ready to go out and play tomorrow and for me that’s already important. Being able to play for the last time in Madrid “It means a lot. At least I will be able to enjoy this track again where I have had very nice moments.”

The Mallorcan wants to take the tournament without expectations, taking advantage of one last opportunity to connect with a fan that has carried him along throughout his career. “I aspire to nothing more than going out, playing, having fun and enjoying the feeling of being in a place where I believe that the love received is unmatched. Then, if they want to do something, they will do it. I promise I’m just as calm. Nobody has to prove anything. They have shown me enough throughout my career, for me that is the most important thing.”

After returning to competition on the clay in Barcelona last week, the Spaniard faces a new step in his attempt to complete a clay court season with guarantees. Despite not having the best feelings, Nadal confessed his desire to make a special effort in an event that holds a special place in his heart.

“It is difficult at this time to say what is ideal. The ideal thing would be to be able to play, not have many limitations and whatever happens happens,” he explained. “If I could play without limitations it would be positive for me. It’s difficult because the feelings of the week have not been perfect. With my mentality I think that tomorrow I wouldn’t go out to play. But it’s Madrid and as I said, many things come together on an emotional level, they lead me to make the decision to go out and play for totally personal reasons. That doesn’t mean you’re giving up anything in the coming weeks, but it does mean that it’s not a straight-line upward process. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m going to try it without trying to confuse anyone. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next three weeks.”

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With the challenge of Roland Garros on the horizon, an event that he will only face if he arrives with the ability to compete properly, Nadal strives in the Caja Mágica to do what he always did: put everything on his part as a basis for fights for the objectives .

“The goal for me has always been to leave the track with the peace of mind of having done everything to make things go well. Winning and losing is part of our daily life. In my career I rarely have the feeling of returning home without having I did everything I could to make things go well. Today I simply can’t. In another situation in my career I probably wouldn’t be playing, the thing is that I have to try. Nowadays, time isn’t infinite. We all believe what I should do to see if there is a way forward. Whatever has to happen will happen, and I try to do what I can every day within my possibilities.”

Nadal’s connection with the Madrid public has always been special. The Spaniard wanted to underline his gratitude for what he experienced in the Spanish capital, from his first memories in the Casa de Campo to the recent warmth of the Caja Mágica. Speaking with open-hearted words, the five-time champion returned the praise to a crowd that is eagerly awaiting him.

“I know what they have given me throughout my career and tomorrow I am sure it will not be different,” Nadal explained. “The support here has been unconditional, I have felt incredibly supported and loved. I mean it really, not because I’m here in Madrid. I have played Davis Cups here, I have played the tournament about 20 times, starting on the indoor court. Winning that final by coming back from two sets to zero, in which without the public he would never have been able to win. The story has only been one of affection, support. I have been lucky enough to be treated phenomenally all over the world, here it is special. I just know what is going to happen and I want to live it.”


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