Rafael Nadal: 'My expectation is to always go on court and...'

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Rafael Nadal: 'My expectation is to always go on court and...'

Rafael Nadal in these days is preparing to be at his best for the Rome Masters. The Spaniard is at the Foro Italico and is training these days, as he did yesterday with Simmer. Nadal, second in the ATP ranking behind Novak Djokovic, was interviewed by the microphones of the event where he answered some questions, including those about his physical form and the exclusion of the Serbian from the US Open.

Rafael Nadal preached the importance of self-control after being asked about Novak Djokovic's stunning US Open default.

Rafael Nadal on Novak Djokovic

"The consequences have been always the same. Nothing new on that," Rafael Nadal said at a news conference in Rome.

"Novak Djokovic was unlucky. [But] The rules say clearly that's a default. Sorry for him. He had an opportunity there. But in some way you should not be doing this. It's very unfortunate, very unlucky situation. But it's important to have the right self-control on the court, because if not, you can be unlucky."

Nadal will be playing for the first time in over six months at the Internazionali d'Italia. He has not competed since February 29 because of the coronavirus pandemic. "I arrived in plenty of time to try and have the right practices," Nadal added.

"You need matches to feel 100 per cent… I'm excited about going back to competition, without big expectations. I know I have a tough first [match] against Pablo. He's playing great. So let's see, it's going to be a good test.

[My] expectation is to always go on court and try to feel competitive. That's the first goal. Go on court, feel [that I'm] competitive, and then I will see how I feel and what kind of goals I can look for." The 33-year-old, who captured the 85th trophy of his career at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC (d.

Fritz) in February, admitted that he had watched the first four sets of Sunday’s US Open final between Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. “I’m happy for Dominic,” said Nadal, who defeated Thiem in the 2018 and 2019 Roland Garros finals.

“He’s somebody who deserves to win a big title. He’s a super hard worker. Very focused on his goals. [A] good person, [a] good human person. He deserves it. [I’m] sorry for Sascha. He was close, but in some ways, I think even if Sascha played a great final for moments, I think that the road to that final from Dominic was a little bit more solid… Sascha will have probably more chances in the future”.