Rafael Nadal: 'I don't need to keep playing for...'

Rafael Nadal always amazes with his dedication and his hunger for victories

by Simone Brugnoli
Rafael Nadal: 'I don't need to keep playing for...'

He was down 10-0 in the previous round and Cameron Norrie was way behind in the odds against Rafael Nadal. This time Norrie managed to shake the confidence of the Iberian champion and won, even in a comeback. For the third time in his career Rafa lost his first game of the season, he had not done so since 2005.

A 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 45 minutes for the British, who appeared very happy and pleased at the post-match press conference. These are his specific words: "I think it's my best victory in qualifying. Winning against a rival like Rafa is always crazy, even if it's his first game of the year.

He literally destroyed me in the last four or five games in which we square off, I'm glad I won once. I played well and kept my nerves throughout the challenge." The tennis player then clarified the true reasons for the victory and explained: "I think I always played well against him, but I always came out defeated.

I think that the gap in the precedents is also due to the first matches on clay, while this is only the third precedent on concrete and I feel that we are getting closer every time. I managed to neutralize him in a few spots and didn't let his right hand slide too much.

Honestly, today I felt very good in the exchanges, even the longer ones, and in the end all the longer exchanges have gone in my favor. Even at the end of the first set, after giving up, I felt comfortable, missed a couple of volleys and was unlucky.

Maybe I made too many mistakes. So I played a solid challenge and got ahead.

Nadal reflects on his retirement

Rafael Nadal recently dismissed all speculation about his retirement following his defeat in the 2023 United Cup.

"So you are very, very interested on my retirement (smiling). I mean, that's, for the moment, is not the case. When this day arrives, I'm going to let you know, guys. Don't keep going with the retirement because I'm here to keep playing tennis," the Spaniard stated.

"No. I mean, when arrive the day that is go out on court and say, That's getting hard, is the day to say goodbye. I don't want to and I don't need to keep playing for no one reason," Nadal said. "The only reason that I make sense to keep playing if I really enjoy what I do, and if I really feel it. If I don't feel it, I mean, I did much more than what I ever dreamed," he added.

Rafael Nadal