Before returning to the field again at the BNL Internationals of Italy, the last match officially played by Spaniard Rafael Nadal was last March, when he beat Taylor Fritz in two sets in the Acapulco final. This year he also reached the last act of the new ATP Cup, overtaken by Novak Djokovic's Serbia, as well as the semi-final played at the Australian Open, stopped by an excellent Dominic Thiem.
Rafa's big goal today is of course Roland Garros, where he will try to lift the number 13 trophy in Paris. In a recent interview, Pablo Andujar hit with Rafael Nadal at his academy recently, and he spoke about his intensity levels during training.
Nadal made a winning return to tennis as he beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-1 in the Rome Masters on Wednesday.
Andujar on Rafael Nadal
"I spent four days in Mallorca with my family. There were two days at the beach and two days of training with Rafael Nadal.
Two days with him is like five normal days," said Pablo Andujar. "At our age, we only do one daily session but it was still nearly three hours. After that, it was basta (enough) for me (laughs)." However, Pablo Andujar confirmed that Rafael Nadal maintained his famed intensity even in training, and looked in top form to everyone who was present.
"But I had time to see that Rafa was really hitting the ball he wanted very well. Francis Roig and Carlos Moya were on the court every time. There was a lot of rhythm, a lot of exchanges. It was intense," asserted Andujar.
"He is always impressive when you are in front of him. It's strength, power etc. But neither more nor less than before. It is the same, it is thoroughly, 100%." Rafael Nadal described his 6-1, 6-1 demolition of Pablo Carreno Busta in Rome as ‘a positive start’ to his clay court season, but he says he must improve.
“Today has been a positive start for me,” Rafael Nadal said after the match. “Of course I have to improve things. The things that I have to improve, the only way to improve is to keep practising with the right attitude, the right intensity and to spend hours in competition matches.
I played a good match, maybe he was a little bit tired from New York (where) he played an amazing tournament. I played solid, some good shots with the forehand and backhand”.