Good performance by Rafael Nadal at the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome. The Iberian champion, winner of 21 Grand Slam titles, quickly got rid of the American Isner, whom he defeated 6-3, 6-1. The match had no history, only the first few games were fought, but Nadal went from less to more and got rid of a player who certainly does not make clay his best surface.
Even at the end of the game, Rafa asked for a pitch to train again and work to find his best condition. At the press conference there was talk of the possible semifinal between Rafa and the current number one in the world, Novak Djokovic.
The champion was cautious and spoke thus: "Possible semifinal with Djokovic? We are possibly three matches away from a possible challenge with Nole. I've been six weeks without touching a racket, so tournaments like this one or even the one in Madrid help me prepare and show that you have to work hard.
The challenge against Nole is always special, but it's not my priority. Now I am thinking about tomorrow's game and working to improve my physical condition", he continued: "Since I came back, I have it very clear.
I am behind in my condition and need to find the best feeling as soon as possible. I need to recover the things that I missed because of the injury, of course." Rafa also spoke about the number one in the world, Iga Swiatek, and had good words for her.
The tennis player has repeatedly said that she considers Rafa an idol and that he publicly congratulated her on her achievements. Nadal continued: "He is doing amazing things, playing very well and winning.
Nadal makes up 1/3rd of the GOAT debate
Rafael Nadal has had enough of the constant comparisons between himself and Carlos Alcaraz.
"I don't know [if Carlos Alcaraz is stronger than a 19-year-old Nadal]. We cannot be all the time thinking about how I was and how he is today. He is what he is. He is fantastic," Nadal said. "The only thing that we can do is enjoy the career of an amazing player.
It will be better, even if it's interesting, you stop comparing him with me." Until then, he hopes the teenager is allowed the opportunity to enjoy his career without the pressure of living up to external expectations.
"If he's able to win 25 Grand Slams, amazing for him and for our country, and I will be happy for him. It's super good for our sport. But let's let him to enjoy his personal career. I enjoyed my personal career," he said. "I think I am super happy the way that I was able to manage my tennis career."