Rafael Nadal recalls: 'It's worth fighting just to have one match of this kind..'

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Rafael Nadal recalls: 'It's worth fighting just to have one match of this kind..'

Rafael Nadal is giving his best to recover from a rib injury and compete in Madrid and Rome in May. The Spaniard had to skip Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and he hopes to get back at 100% ahead of the upcoming Masters 1000 events.

Nadal lifted the tenth Rome Masters title last spring, overcoming three earlier Masters 1000 losses and heading all the way to celebrate the trophy. Rafa came from a break down three times in the second round against Jannik Sinner in a 7-5, 6-4 triumph.

The next encounter proved an even tougher one, and the Spaniard claimed a hard-fought 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 win over Denis Shapovalov. Rafa was 6-3, 3-0, 40-30 down before he started to climb back at one of his favorite courts. Nadal fended off two match points and prevailed after a titanic battle that sent him into the quarter-final.

Rafael Nadal shared thoughts about a hard-fought victory over Denis Shapovalov.

Denis threw everything he had at Rafa, firing over 40 winners and staying in touch with the king of clay in the shortest and mid-range exchanges.

Still, Nadal remained composed and stole the second set to prolong the match and his chances. The Canadian was a break in front in the decider before the Spaniard erased the deficit. Rafa gained a boost and wasted his opportunities on the return at 5-5 before repelling those two match points at 5-6 to stay alive and seal the deal in the tie break.

It was Nadal's 16th victory after saving at least one match point, showing his well-known fighting spirit and refusing to surrender until the very last point. Rafa stated it was worth the effort if you could score only one similar victory during the season.

"I choose to fight and keep the fighting spirit and determination. Many errors came from my racquet, and I tried to keep my head clear. It's worth all the effort if you score only one win like this every season. It was a significant victory for me that gave me confidence.

There were many long games, and I had to fight hard to reach the quarters. These encounters are always challenging, as you have to play again on the following day," Rafael Nadal said.