Rafael Nadal held a pre-tournament press conference in Rome. Just a couple of days after his loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Madrid, the Spaniard reached the Italian capital and he commented on how it feels to be titleless this year on clay: "I feel good.
Is true that I didn't win a title, but is true that my feeling is, for example, maybe in 2015 I won Buenos Aires, I think, but the feeling is much better. Sometimes winning a title or not doesn't make a big difference, no? I didn't win a title.
It's true I missed a couple of tournaments. At the same time is true that when I was playing, I was close to winning it. I didn't play enough good to win, but I didn't play very bad. I am there. I have been in three semifinals in a row.
Well, four semifinals in a row, since Indian Wells. But that's it. That's tennis: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Is true that I lost a couple of matches that playing good probably I will win. But that's how it works.
If you don't play enough good, then the opponent is good, too. The matches that I lost, I deserved to lose. Only one, my opinion, I deserved to win that I lost. Against Kyrgios in Acapulco. The rest of the matches I lost I deserve to lose.
Here to try my best another week." He added: "I am good. I am good. I am feeling good. I'm happy to be back here in Rome. I take a day off yesterday. I had a good sleep tonight. Just excited to be back in this special place for me.
Try to have a good practice this afternoon, and let's see if I am ready to compete at the level that I want to do."