'I noticed someone who looked a lot like Rafael Nadal', says expert

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'I noticed someone who looked a lot like Rafael Nadal', says expert

Rafael Nadal's incredible start to the season, winner of three tournaments at the beginning of the year (including the Australian Open 2022) and slowed down only by Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells Master 1000 final after a run of 3 consecutive victories, seemed to presage another season on clay dominated by the Majorcan champion.

However, the stress fracture in the side suffered in the last acts of the American tournament has disrupted the plans of the 21-time Grand Slam champion, who will be forced to stay away from the courts for between 4 and 6 weeks.

If his absence in Monte Carlo is already certain, his presence at the ATP 500 in Barcelona is still up in the air. In an interview granted to Marca, the director of the Catalan tournament, former world number three David Ferrer, stated that the hope of seeing the Spanish champion and great friend on the court is still alive.

Ferrer reassured the public at the Catalan event by promising a parterre of respectable players: "I'm sure there will be three 'top 10' (Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz) and 11 of the top 20. A final between Tsitsipas and Carlos Alcaraz would be attractive," the tournament director told Marca.

The former Spanish tennis player was full of praise for his young compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, who was also among the protagonists of the Miami tournament.

Kaufman opens up on Rafa Nadal

Sportswriter Michelle Kaufman regaled tennis fans with a story about how she once spotted Rafael Nadal roaming the streets of Wimbledon all by himself.

"Liz Clarke of the Washington Post and I, we always rented a flat together [to cover Wimbledon]. One of the greatest things about living in Wimbledon for those weeks is you're really living in a tennis village," Kaufman said.

"You're walking around and you'll see commentators and players all around. You're right in the middle of it. There's nothing like it, really." When she caught up with the person, the American was astonished to see that it was Nadal after all.

"One day, we are walking to the ground and we see a guy ahead of us with a big tennis bag and it looked like Rafa Nadal. Just walking about. We thought, 'You know, that guy really looks like Rafa. But he wouldn't just be walking through the town, carrying his own racquets," Kaufman said.

"Because they provide drivers for the players. Even if they are just staying three blocks away, there is a driver who will come get you. We were so curious and we walked really fast and tried to catch up to the man. And it was him."