'I think Rafael Nadal will need to think what is...', says former ATP ace
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 4506
Rafael Nadal failed to reach the semi-finals in Monte Carlo and Madrid last year. The Spaniard was keen to change that at the final clay-court Masters 1000 of the season, in Rome. Chasing the tenth crown at the Foro Italico, Rafa faced arguably the most formidable opponent of the second round at the start of the event, battling local star Jannik Sinner.
Nadal prevailed 7-5 6-4 in the last match of Wednesday's program, ending the clash at around 9:20 p.m. and heading to a brief press conference. Knowing the schedule for the following day, Rafa could not spend much time with the journalists, claiming that he needed to rest, since he was scheduled to return to play around 1:00 p.m.
on Thursday. Rafa and Denis Shapovalov would go out on Center Court when Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty finished their matches, and the Spaniard was not happy when he watched the programme. Rafa said it would have been acceptable to play around 13:00 under normal circumstances, but not in this one, especially if he and Jannik had gone to a deciding set.
Schedule aside, Rafa played a good match against Sinner. He suffered three breaks and stole the youngster's serve five times to seal the deal in just over two hours and reach the round of 16. Unlike what happened against Zverev in Madrid, when he only made a couple of direct points, Rafa played much more aggressive tennis in Rome.
He controlled the pace and outplayed the youngster in the shorter and more advanced rallies to advance through the round.
Corretja opens up on Rafa Nadal
Alex Corretja believes it would be "risky" for Rafael Nadal to make his comeback from injury at the 2022 Madrid Masters.
"If he'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."