'This time Rafael Nadal'll go a little bit more relaxed with...', says expert

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'This time Rafael Nadal'll go a little bit more relaxed with...', says expert

Nobody expected such a start to the season from Rafael Nadal. The Spanish champion, who had played just seven official tournaments in 2021, defeated the competition at the Australian Open by reaffirming that he is an absolute legend of modern sport.

In a tournament that had often been hostile to him in the past, the former world number 1 achieved one of the most unexpected feats of his entire career. After surviving two real battles against Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini, the 35-year-old from Manacor came back two sets behind Daniil Medvedev in the final.

By winning his second title at Melbourne Park, Rafa moved up to 21 Majors, beating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time rankings. The Iberian’s streak of winning streak ended against Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final, also due to a stress fracture in a rib.

The Majorcan has resumed training and could return to the Masters 1000 in Madrid. At Eurosport, Alex Corretja analyzed Nadal's situation.

Alex Corretja on Rafael Nadal

"If Rafael Nadal's healthy, probably he will go, but I think he will need to think what is best for him in order to be perfect for Roland Garros because, [while] it would be great if he can be in Madrid and it would be unbelievable if he can be in Rome, he can't hide that his main goal is to be perfect for Paris," Corretja said.

"And what's the best preparation for Paris? Two tournaments, including that one in Madrid, or skip and practice and get ready in Rome to see how it goes? And then Paris - only time will tell that," the Spaniard added. "But it's going to be a very tricky decision because skipping Madrid would be a pity for him.

But at the same time, we know how risky Madrid is from a professional point of view." Alex Corretja also stressed that winning another Grand Slam title is much more important for Rafael Nadal than securing another Masters 1000 crown.

"Maybe this time he'll go a little bit more relaxed with less expectations and maybe he feels quite OK to do well, but I don't think his goal should be [being] great for Madrid," Corretja said. "Madrid should be a transition to be perfect for Roland Garros.

Even if we love Madrid and we love Masters 1000 [events] because they are very important on the tour, at this stage of his [Nadal's] career we cannot lie believing that a Masters 1000 [title] will change his career or his life but another Major, I think it will."

Rafael Nadal