I’m taking these days a bit like preseason. It is a tournament that suits me. If any victory could come, fantastic. But you have to be patient and humble”, recognized Rafa Nadal on the media day of the Mutua Madrid Open. This Wednesday (not before 4:00 p.m., Teledeporte and Movistar), with a low profile and in an unusual background, somewhat in the shadow of the flourishing Carlos Alcaraz, He debuted against Miomir Kecmanovic, a 22-year-old Serbian and 32nd in the world whom he won a couple of years ago in Acapulco. Since then, the kid has improved a lot. In Miami he put Alcaraz on the ropes and in Belgrade, just a few days ago, he threatened to beat Djokovic, his idol and mirror. It will, therefore, be a very demanding touchstone for the Balearic, who is getting closer to turning 36.
Nadal has not played since the Indian Wells final, on March 20, when the American Taylor Fritz he beat him clearly benefiting from the rib injury that the winner of 21 Grand Slams was already suffering from. An annoyance that in his own words was “invalidating”. “I had difficulty even sleeping. When I breathed, it hurt. I did some gym, but I couldn’t train until two weeks ago. I was barely able to serve. It’s going to be a tough week”, he advanced before noting that he is ready to “fight” with “illusion”.
It is not usual to see Nadal talk about an event in which he participates as preparation for major goals, in this case Roland Garros, but circumstances force him to do so. “I have a few weeks to get fit, I have never said it like that because all the tournaments are relevant to me, but I have a few days left for Paris. and unfortunately I have to take it this way”.
Height and public
Madrid is not a place in which Rafa Nadal feels particularly comfortable in terms of his tennis, although he has been five times champion and three other finalists, because of the height (657 meters), which prevents him from controlling the ball and, therefore, the games as he likes. Over the years, players who are not great specialists on clay have put him in difficulty. Another thing is public support. In the capital they adore him. On Tuesday he was seen in training with Jannik Sinner. “We love you”they told him from the surroundings of runway 7, packed inside and, above all, outside, on the unique walkway of the Tennis Garden of the Magic Box. In that sense, he is still above Alcaraz and, of course, Djokovic. She is the ‘Nadalmania’, as the camera operator of an American media described in English. The impulse that leads him to give that extra that guarantees it is as it is.
“I am not much to complain or complain. In life one can be complaining all day, but in the end that does not lead to anything. There is nothing left to do but look forward, face the next goals with determination”, affirms the man from Manacor, who asked the organization not to schedule his debut in Champions time, because he wants to see the Real Madrid match against Manchester City on the spot. Just like Alcaraz.