Rafael Nadal: 'That game cost me a few months of sports career'

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Rafael Nadal: 'That game cost me a few months of sports career'

Rafael Nadal finally clinched his first title over red in Barcelona last week, incidentally after nullifying a match point to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. The 20-time Grand Slam champion thus redeemed the misstep in Monte Carlo, where he was eliminated in the quarters at the hands of a wild Andrey Rublev.

Thanks to the forfeit of world number 1 Novak Djokovic, the 34-year-old Spaniard will be seeded number 1 at the Mutua Madrid Open, the second Masters 1000 of the season, scheduled from 2 to 9 May at the Caja Magica. A few days before the start of the tournament, the five-time champion recalled the most exciting moment he experienced in the Iberian capital during the last decade and a half.

The Majorcan dwelt on the famous 2005 final, when he defeated former ATP number 3 - and current Roger Federer coach - Ivan Ljubicic in a five-set battle. At the time, the Madrid Open was still being played on hardcourt. After losing the first two sets, Rafa became the author of an exceptional comeback despite his very young age.

Rafael Nadal on his most special moment in Madrid

“The first, which was in 2005. It was the final, even if it wasn’t on land. It was an unforgettable game, very exciting, where I remember that the public was incredible,” said Rafael Nadal.

Despite the foot injury, Nadal revealed that the emotions he experienced post the 2005 victory were unforgettable. Then 19-years-old, Nadal expressed that winning in his home country made the win special. “The game cost me a few months of sports career.

I broke my foot but it was worth it. It was worth the emotion I experienced, that made it impossible to forget… It was amazing to be able to win at home like that, besides being very young,” added Nadal. Rafael Nadal's uncle and former coach Toni Nadal recently spoke to a Spanish sports website about a variety of topics.

Toni touched upon the Barcelona Open final between his nephew Rafael and Stefanos Tsitsipas. "The Barcelona final was not a great match, Rafa and Stefanos did not play well even if it was very emotional," Rafael Nadal's former coach & uncle Toni Nadal said.

But in the same breath, he claimed that the Barcelona victory ought to boost the 20-time Major winner's confidence going forward. "Rafael Nadal made unforced errors that he doesn't usually make. But this win will give him confidence," Toni Nadal said.