'Rafael Nadal was sighing in my ear', says ATP ace

Rafael Nadal was one of the great protagonists of the first part of the season

by Simone Brugnoli
'Rafael Nadal was sighing in my ear', says ATP ace

Rafael Nadal was one of the great protagonists of the first part of the season. The former world number 1, returning from a poor 2021 due to injuries, won the Australian Open and Roland Garros dispelling any doubts about his competitiveness.

In addition to having removed the specter of retirement, the Spanish phenomenon has guaranteed excellent chances of ending the year at the top of the ATP ranking. Daniil Medvedev will have to defend many points between now and the end of the season, while Novak Djokovic risks not being able to fly to the United States as he is not vaccinated against the Coronavirus.

After undergoing a foot treatment with Dr Cotorro, the 36-year-old from Manacor went on a hunt for his third seal at Wimbledon. Rafa went all the way to the semifinal, but had to give up the challenge against Nick Kyrgios due to a tear in his abs.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has already resumed training and will return to the field in Montreal next week. In a recent interview with 'La Nacion', Francisco Cerundolo recalled his match against Nadal in the first round of Wimbledon 2022.

Despite being defeated, the Argentinian showed a great performance and 'risked' to bring the contest to the fifth set.

Cerundolo opens up on Nadal

"Half an hour before the game I started to feel nervous. And since I walked from the locker room to the court, passing through the internal corridors, I felt that Rafael Nadal was walking [behind me], that he was sighing in my ear.

I felt that a lion was coming," Cerundolo said. Had he not done that and gotten overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation, the 23-year-old is certain he would have been decimated in straight sets. "We were a few meters from the entrance, I psyched myself up and said: 'I'm going in to kill or I'm going to have a very bad time'

Since I stepped on the grass, I thought: 'Look where I am,'" Cerundolo said. "I went into party mode and my nerves went away. If I [hadn't done] that, I would've lost 6-1, 6-1, 6-1. It was a nice tournament, there were no points, what better than that.

We started to warm up and at one point I grabbed my cell phone, went on Twitter and boom! I see Cerúndolo-Nadal. I said: 'Well, Rafa touched me' In those days, from the draw on Friday to the game on Tuesday, I was eager to get on the court and play."

Rafael Nadal