Rafael Nadal began his sixteenth Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell-68 Conde de Godó Trophy defeating the Belarusian Ilya Ivashka 3-6, 6-2 and 6-4, advancing to the round of 16.
“In general it was a difficult game but the important thing today was to pass in any way,” stressed the eleven-time champion, who acknowledged that “I have trained better these days than I have played, but I have gone from less to more and tomorrow will be another day, I will have another opportunity to improve, which for me is very important ”.
He reiterated the need to recover from the defeat against Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo. Especially since he arrived without me doing the tennis that I personally expected. “I already said that after a defeat there are days of doubts and we have to improve. I know that it is a road that must be traveled, and I am in that process in these weeks from now to Roland Garros to reach the highest level as soon as possible. I think I’m not far away ”.
He praised the performance of Ivashka, 27 years old and 111 of the world. “It is circumstantial that the rival is outside the top hundred, I think he has played at a high level. It came rolled, offering a good level. I have started badly, hesitantly, and he has taken the initiative too many times, it was too much in his hands. I have changed the dynamics in the second set. The third was more complicated because he served well. In general it was a difficult game but the important thing today was to pass in whatever way. And this objective has been achieved ”.
This Thursday, duel against Kei Nishikori or Cristian Garín: “I will have to play better. I’m satisfied that I got through the first game because I have another chance to do better. And I hope so ”.
In addition, with the encouragement of the public, even with the reduction in capacity to 1,000 people due to the pandemic. “Compared to zero it is a lot of difference. Happy that there is some audience in the stands. I hope that this support in front of my people helps me to improve. I hope that seeing full stadiums becomes more and more normal soon. For young people it is all newer, for those of us who have been touring the world for years, the public gives us an energy that we need ”.