'I think that's where Rafael Nadal always looks...', says top analyst

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'I think that's where Rafael Nadal always looks...', says top analyst

Facing each other for the second time, Rafael Nadal and Jannik Sinner played a match of great quality at the Rome Masters last year. The more experienced player beat the youngster 7-5 6-4 in the second round, withstanding all odds and prevailing after two hours and ten minutes.

Rafa lost serve three times and grabbed five breaks to cross the finish line in first place. He overcame a break down twice in the first set and recovered from 4-2 down in the second set to emerge on top and avoid an early exit against a difficult opponent.

Sinner gave his best to challenge the powerful rival like in Paris 2020. However, he failed to impose his shots and produce better numbers in his games. The young man was disappointed to lose in straight sets, saying that both played at a high level and that he needed one more gear to present a more favorable result and fight for victory.

Jannik Sinner had chances against Rafael Nadal in Rome last year. "The mentality is the most important part of this sport. I knew that I could play quite well against Rafa at Roland Garros for many reasons. I showed it in the first set.

This time, I knew I could do more, and I entered the track with more confidence in my weapons. This is the point we are working on, and there we have to improve a little more. It is a lesson, which is difficult to accept, but I will accept it for sure because I have to improve.

I am especially disappointed and sad after this loss, because I think we both played a high-level match. Now it's hard to accept that I'm already out because I was a break ahead twice in the first set and once in the second.

It's hard to accept because I knew I could and maybe should have done more."

Chanda Rubin speaks about Rafa Nadal

Chanda Rubin has revealed she was happy to see Rafael Nadal "healthy" ahead of the claycourt swing.

"It is (nice) and this was kind of the concern, what we saw, the stress fracture in his rib in Indian Wells, playing such great tennis, has had such a good start to the year," Rubin said. "But, there was time before Roland Garros, I think that's where Nadal always looks to build."

Rafael Nadal had a good run at the 2022 Indian Wells Masters but suffered a rib stress fracture during the latter stages of the tournament. The Spaniard first felt pain in the chest area during his semifinal against Carlos Alcaraz, but still managed to defeat his young compatriot in three sets. However, the injury only got worse and prevented him from performing at his best in the final against Fritz.