Rafael Nadal did not go to New York because he considered it unsafe to reach one of the countries most affected by the health emergency and was able to prepare for the season on red in the best possible way. It goes without saying that his great goal remains to win Roland Garros for the thirteenth time and that, seeing his first performances in Rome, he will present himself in France once again as the all-time favorite.
Rafael Nadal recently spoke about his remarkable final at the 2005 Italian Open, which was his first title in Rome. The Spaniard prevailed over Argentina's Guillermo Coria in 5 grueling sets and a deciding set tiebreak.
Nadal recalls the Rome 2005 final
"Yeah... that final," said the 19-time Grand Slam champion. "It has been unforgettable. It was one of the best finals of my tennis career. No doubt about that. I was super tired before that much and it was the first year I had played the full clay court season, having had success in Monte Carlo and Barcelona," Rafael Nadal added.
The end of the match in particular, which reached a deciding set tiebreak that ended 8-6 in the favor of Rafael Nadal, was a big breakthrough for the southpaw. "The quality of tennis had been huge. It was super emotional in the fifth.
It's one of the matches that I am not forgetting," asserted Nadal. Rafael Nadal says he missed the energy of the fans as he got his first taste of behind closed doors tennis on Wednesday. “It’s not beautiful the feeling of playing without the spectators because the energy of the fans is impossible to describe,” Rafael Nadal told the media after the match.
“But for me, at least, today has been a very positive comeback”. The Italian Open originally planned to allow a limited number of spectators into the arenas, but they were forced to abandon those plans due to local coronavirus spikes.
Similarly, the French Open intent to admit 11,500 fans each day to Roland Garros, which starts later this month, but it remains to be seen if those plans will survive a recent rise in Covid-19 cases in Paris. To add to the excitement for the fans, the world number two will step out sporting the special edition Nike shoes that he and golf legend Tiger Woods recently collaborated for.
The Spanish superstar announced on Twitter, that he will play his first match since the hiatus, in the Nike Men’s Rafa X Tiger Vapor Cage 4 Tennis Shoes.