'That transition can actually be smooth for Rafael Nadal', says top analyst

The Spaniard has played only a handful of matches since returning to competitive tennis

by Simone Brugnoli
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'That transition can actually be smooth for Rafael Nadal', says top analyst
© Clive Mason / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The missed ceremonies that accompanied Rafael Nadal’s departure from the court after the defeats suffered in Rome and Paris against Hubert Hurkacz and Alexander Zverev respectively made a lot of noise. Everyone expected a special Madrid-style tribute, especially considering that it may have been the last time the Spanish champion in two of the tournaments that made him a legend.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion then explained that it is not 100% sure to greet tennis at the end of this season. In an interview with the newspaper L'Équipe, the Spaniard revealed a curious background on the latest edition of Roland Garros: he had initially accepted the ceremony in case he lost with Zverev, but then changed his mind at the last minute.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

“At first I said yes, but at the last minute I knew I didn’t want to. It would have hurt to announce that it would be my last time in this tournament knowing that I didn’t have the opportunity to prepare as I wanted.

Nothing prevents the tournament from waiting another year. If the tribute takes place when I have already retired, I will participate as a retired player. Before starting the Roland Garros I wasn’t sure of anything," Nadal said about it.

Rafael Nadal wants to be ready 

In a long interview with Tennis Channel, Eugenie Bouchard opened up on Rafael Nadal’s current status: “I definitely agree with that. Good for him on going to play Bastad. I do think that with the transition after Wimbledon after the grass will be tricky for his body, but he loves the clay. So I feel like that transition can actually be smooth for him."

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2024
Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

The Spanish champion is already projected towards the appointment with five circles on the red clay courts that also host the Roland Garros, scheduled from late July. The ambition of the Majorcan can only be to get in the best conditions to be a protagonist in the place that made him more famous (the reference is of course to the 14 Slam titles won in France).

Rafael Nadal
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