After a long absence after the defeat in the semifinal at Roland Garros 2021, the Spanish champion Rafael Nadal is ready to return to the field. The Majorcan will be the number one seeded at the ATP tournament in Washington, a tournament that still sees several absences given the aftermath of the Olympics but which will be used by Rafa to better prepare the next Masters 1000 and the US Open, fourth and last Slam of this year.
Starting from the physical conditions at this tournament, Rafa spoke like this at the press conference: "After Roland Garros I had foot problems that made it impossible for me to play at Wimbledon and the Olympics but now I'm here and I feel good.
I am happy to be in Washington for the first time in my life and I am participating in this tournament for the first time, I have good feelings and I am happy to be able to compete. I don't know how long it will take to recover my optimal condition, I will work a few more days in training and my goal is to be competitive for my first round.
After a year of absence, I am happy to be back in the United States. There is the public and it's something I haven't seen in a long time, it's fantastic."
Rafael Nadal on Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal is all set to make his maiden appearance at the Citi Open in Washington.
The Spaniard will be seen in action this week for the first time since his semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros. When asked whether he thinks Novak Djokovic can complete the Calendar Slam this year, Rafael Nadal asserted that it was very much possible.
"What he achieved this year is something, well, amazing," Nadal said. "I definitely believe that he can do it, without a doubt. He's already won three, so when you win three, you can win four, without a doubt," he added.
"He's going to be playing on hardcourts, probably his best surface, so why not? Of course it's something difficult. [There are] going to be other guys that want to achieve the last Slam of the season. But of course he's one of the clear favorites.
In the end he is number one in the world and one of the best in history," Nadal said. "It is strange that someone, being so successful, reacts in this way from time to time, but in the end he is very competitive and reacts like this."