In a few days we will see Rafael Nadal on the field again, who has not set foot on the court since the victorious ATP 500 in Acapulco. Little is known about the condition of the Spaniard, who is training these days at the Foro Italico and who, inevitably, is among the most anticipated protagonists, having won on nine occasions between 2005 and 2019.
The Iberian has decided to jump the US Open expressly to aim the goal on clay, also counting on the issue of a ranking that, in any case, allows him not to lose any points even in the event of failure to achieve successes number 10 (at the Foro Italico) and 13 (at Roland Garros).
It remains only to see him on the court, for those privileged few who, given the closed doors, will be able. Preparing for the clay court season was a greater factor in Rafael Nadal skipping the US Open than coronavirus fears, says compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta.
Carreno Busta on Rafael Nadal
“Rafael Nadal decided to don’t come and prepare Rome and Roland Garros,” Pablo Carreno Busta said of Rafael Nadal after his semi-final loss to Alexander Zverev. “Is good decision, no? If he take the decision to come here, also is a good decision.
I am not the person to say if is good or not to come here or not. I think for me was good decision to come to play to the U.S. because we know that there are risk, but we need to start in one moment”. ATP Masters 1000 title leaders Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic return to Rome for the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.
Last year, the pair faced off in the final at the Foro Italico, a match Nadal won in three sets before proceeding to claim his 12th Roland Garros crown. The Spaniard will be going for a record-extending 10th Rome title next week as he returns to action for the first time since winning the Acapulco title in February.
Djokovic, a four-time champion here, will be attempting to win a second straight Masters 1000 title following his triumph in August at the Western & Southern Open. The Rome field is also set to feature Top 10 players Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, 2017 champion Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini, Gael Monfils and David Goffin.
Berrettini is joined in the draw by fellow Italians Fabio Fognini, the 2019 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters titlist, and reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner.