Rafael Nadal will be credited with the first seed at the Mutua Madrid Open, the second Masters 1000 of the season, scheduled from 2 to 9 May at the Caja Magica. The Spanish phenomenon, fresh from the triumph in Barcelona last week, was able to benefit from the surprise forfeit of Novak Djokovic.
The world number 1 has in fact opted for a different schedule this year, also thanks to the desire to promote his home tournament in Belgrade. The 18-time Grand Slam champion is expected to take part in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and in the Serbia Open before Roland Garros, where he will attempt to repeat his only success in 2016.
Nole's goal is also to avenge the blow suffered by Nadal in the final of the French Open 2020, which allowed the Majorcan to forfeit the 20th Major of his stratospheric career. In a recent interview granted to 'El Partidazo de COPE', the director of the Masters 1000 in Madrid Feliciano Lopez highlighted how Rafa is expressing his best tennis despite being now on the threshold of 35 years.
Feliciano Lopez comments on Rafael Nadal
"Few players with 34 years could think that they would be where he (Rafael Nadal) is right now," Feliciano Lopez said. "He has shown that he is with the illusion intact and that is also very complicated.
I find the moment in which he is (currently at) incredible, (and) I even see him get better in tennis. I think Rafa remains for a while." Feliciano Lopez pointed out that while aging often adversely impacts some players, the same cannot be said for Rafael Nadal.
"Age does not forgive, but Rafa has the ability to continue with 34 years at a high level, physically and mentally to continue winning," Lopez continued. "It is very complicated when you are that age you cannot think how many more years you are going to play if you do not think about playing that year to the fullest," Lopez said.
He also talked about Novak Djokovic's absence: "We expected Federer's thing (but) Djokovic's is a little more surprising, but the calendar is what it is," Lopez said. "You have to accept that there will be some player who does not want to come."
After winning his 12th title at Barcelona last week, Rafael Nadal finds himself firmly positioned in the top spot. Nadal's five match wins in the Spanish city have given him a career win-loss record of 1015-206, for a percentage of 83.12%.