After more than six months of absence, partly due to the pandemic and partly to the choice not to go to the United States, Rafael Nadal will make his return to the field at the Internationals of Italy. The last official appearance of the former world number 1 dates back to the Acapulco tournament last February, where he won the title without losing a single set.
The Spaniard's decision not to compete in the US Open caused a sensation, thanks to concerns related to the health emergency and the desire to better prepare for Roland Garros. In the event of a 13th win in Paris, the Majorcan would equal the eternal rival Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slams.
In all the interviews he has given over this long period, Rafa has admitted that tennis has been the last of his thoughts in recent months. A thought reaffirmed also in the press conference that anticipates his debut at the Foro Italico against Pablo Carreno Busta.
Nadal: 'The world has changed over the last 6 months'
"Actually it has not been tough because I have not competed since the last 6 months. It has been tough because the world has changed in the last 6 months," said the Spaniard.
"A lot of people around us are suffering, lots of families have lost somebody and many are facing economic problems too. So, during the last few months, tennis has been one of the last things I have been worried about," Rafael Nadal added.
"But here I am," asserted Nadal. "I am super happy to be back honestly. Tennis is an important part of my life and I am back at one of the most important tournaments in the world and a tournament that I have always had a great feeling for, one that has always been special for me.
Just happy to be back." Nadal praised Thiem for his success, which came with the Spaniard and Roger Federer not in the draw and with Novak Djokovic having defaulted in the fourth round. "I'm happy for Dominic.
If somebody deserved to win a big title it's him," he said. "A super hard worker, very focused on his goals, a good person, a good human being. He deserved it. Sorry to Sascha [Zverev], he was close but in some ways I think even though Sascha played a great final, I think the road to the final from Dominic had been a little bit more solid.