Rafa Nadal: ‘It’s been many months without competing, you have to be patient’

Rafael Nadal He hasn’t played since he beat the American Taylor fritz in the final of the ATP 500 in Acapulco, on February 29. After the confinement, the manacorí preferred not to sign up for any exhibition and opted not to do the US tour, or Cincinnati or US Open.

He returns to his fetish territory, the clay, in which he has not competed since he hunted his twelfth Roland Garros, a tournament that takes place this season from September 27 to October 11. Earlier this week, he defends his ninth crown at the Rome ATP Masters 1000, with a start against Pablo Carreño, US Open semifinalist. Predictably, on Wednesday, September 16.

“The circumstances have been difficult for everyone. It will not be the same without an audience, being in the bubble, but at least we have a tournament here in Rome and we have to be positive. I’m looking forward to it, ”says Nadal.

They are six months away from the ATP Tour, a circumstance that he has known in the past but due to an injury. “It’s not like coming back from injury but there are similarities. I’m fine, the last few weeks the training sessions have gotten better, but it’s been many months without playing and the competition is something else. We will have to be patient, be calm, have control of emotions and look for the automatisms that are lost ”, he points out in his official videoconference in the Italian capital.

“You need more time. Most of the players have been playing, and I decided on another roadmap. We are where we had planned to be, with more or less positive feelings that later have to be transferred to the competition. Pablo Carreño he is playing very well, he is a very difficult opponent and I hope to be able ”, adds Rafa.

Roland Garros is on the horizon, but Nadal lives by the day. “I don’t know what will happen, what situation we will have in Roland Garros. Let’s see how the virus evolves in the coming weeks. ”

One of his greatest rivals, Dominic Thiem, opened his Grand Slam record at the US Open: “He deserved a title like that, he’s a great worker, he’s very focused on his goals. And it’s a good people. Sascha zverev he was close, at times he played a great final and he will probably have more options in the future ”.

The Austrian will not be in Rome, nor will the German and the semifinalist Daniil Medvedev. Of the four best in New York, only Pablo Carreño entered the picture.

“I’ll see how I feel and what kind of goals I can pursue. or playing the US Open gives me a slight disadvantage with those who have played it, they come with a shoot that I don’t have, ”says Nadal.