Rafael Nadal could play Rome in 2025: it's not just utopia!

The crowd at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia gave a touching farewell to the Spaniard, who however did not rule out a come back in the tournament

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Rafael Nadal could play Rome in 2025: it's not just utopia!
© Dan Istitene / Staff Getty Images Sport

What can and should still be said about a champion like Rafael Nadal? I have already said everything and more, but perhaps there could be one last blank page on which a few lines of tennis history could be written. The Spanish champion, at the press conference following the defeat in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia against Hubert Hurkacz, passed through the tunnel to return home and there, the tournament crowd cheered him with a touching welcome and exhilarating, which Rafa will remember forever. Through a long Instagram post, Nadal greeted the Roma fans with an equally touching message.

"What more can I say? Thank you Rome, thank you Italy," wrote the Spanish champion, to thank the incredible flood of affection he received from the thousands of fans present at the Foro Italico. But this may not be the end of his adventure at the Italian Open. Could Rafa return to play the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome also in 2025? In the press conference Nadal made it clear that it might not be the last time in Rome.

"I accept the situation, as I said at the beginning of the tournament. I have always felt the support and love of the people, the same goes for Rome. Now everyone is more excited because they won't have many opportunities to see me play again. However, I am the tennis player who has won the most here. I want - as a player - to be remembered for the results I achieved and as a person who set a positive example. Today was difficult. I have to accept that I wasn't ready and I didn't play well enough. The time has come to make a decision about Roland Garros, whether to play there or not. We play in two weeks, I don't have a clear decision. If I have to describe to you the sensations I have in my head, I would say that I will play Roland Garros and do my best.

I have some problems, but not enough to say I can't play in the most important event of my career. We'll see how I feel mentally and physically tomorrow morning. If I feel well, I will try to play Roland Garros. I have always said that I will never be able to thank the fans enough for the love I have received throughout my career all over the world. I played some of my most important and exciting matches here. I have often found my tennis again after difficult moments in Rome. I've always had fun, I don't know if it was my last time here, Chances are high that it will be. I don't know anything about a ceremony. I never said it will be my last time here in Rome. I said it in Madrid, here I'm still not sure if it was my last time. So it's a different situation than in Madrid. I didn't expect any ceremony after the match," he surprisingly said.

Is it possible then that Nadal could play the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in 2025? According to the words of the Spanish champion, this is a situation that cannot be excluded. And it wouldn't surprise me at all. Since Rafa is a highly competitive athlete, perhaps he will want to try to give himself one last chance to definitively close his career to the best of his ability, trying to aspire to victory in a tournament which, during his glorious career, saw him triumph 10 times.

Rafael Nadal, Rome 2024
Rafael Nadal, Rome 2024© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

Only two days ago, after beating Zizou Bergs in the first round, Rafa said: "Even if I didn't play well I have to accept that my level can fluctuate. I have to find stability, a match like this helps you. I feel close to showing something much more positive than the first games in Barcelona. I feel close, and that's why I'm playing. I can do much better than today and I hope to do so. However, I am very happy with the victory. It's hard, I did things step by step trying to slowly improve.

It's not easy and not just because of the defeats, but because of the sensations felt with some shots. It's about adapting my body and muscles to the hip problem. I've made some progress in the last few weeks. It's time to give it a try and if something happens, something happens. I have to understand if I can adapt to new problems. Now I'm in Rome and the time has come to understand if I can push my body to the limit, give everything and be ready for Roland Garros. If something bad happens, I will accept it."

Hubert Hurkacz, Rome 2024
Hubert Hurkacz, Rome 2024© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

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