'Rafael Nadal has been fairly vocal about...', says former ATP star

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'Rafael Nadal has been fairly vocal about...', says former ATP star

There was no chance that Rafael Nadal would defend the title in Rome. The Spanish tennis player, who has already won ten titles at the Internazionali d'Italia, was defeated in the third round by Denis Shapovalov due to a foot injury, with which he has lived for years, as he stated in the press conference after the defeat.

No Spaniard, therefore, passed the third round of the Masters 1000 in Rome; also due to the absence of another Iberian, another long-awaited great on Italian clay: Carlos Alcaraz. The Spanish number two conquered the 1000th title in Madrid, beating Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

He also went down in history for his victories against Nadal and Djokovic in the same clay court tournament: he is the first tennis player to do so. However, the effort required to win the Mutua Madrid Open led the number six in the world to give up the Internazionali d'Italia, in order to better prepare for Roland Garros.

Carlos Alcaraz was, therefore, a mere spectator of the tournament in Rome and only from a distance could he see the physical state in which Rafa Nadal was during the match against Denis Shapovalov. During an award ceremony, in which Alcaraz won the award for best athlete, (shared with Pedro Acosta, motorcycle racer, and Mohamed Katir, athlete), he revealed what his thoughts were when seeing the Spanish number one in that state "No one likes to see Rafa like this.

He is a reference for everyone: that he suffers on the track, doing the sport he loves, is something that hurts us all, and personally me too", said Alcaraz.

Devvarman comments on Rafa Nadal

Former Indian tennis player Somdev Devvarman recently assessed Rafael Nadal's chances at the 2022 French Open.

"Comes out, plays the Aussie, wins it and all of us are kind of sitting there and saying that Rafa is ready for the French Open. Like he's always been, he always goes, he takes a couple of weeks to get ready for Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and before you know it, he's ready and he's won the title 13 times," the Indian said.

"So, he's definitely not someone you're counting out but I do think that it is fair to say that in the last 15 or 16 years, this is probably the most hurt, the most injured Rafa has been and I think the rest of the field also understands that because he has been fairly vocal about the fact that he's had to play through injury his whole career and knowing Rafa, that's just the kind of guy he is.

I think he's not going to go out there and be the one to make excuses but he's going to fight and see where he stands."