There are only a few days left and the Mutua Madrid Open, Masters 1000, held on the Spanish soil of Madrid, much awaited by tennis players and tennis fans, will officially begin. The most anticipated man, needless to say, could only be the twenty-time winner of Grand Slam titles and king of clay Rafael Nadal: here Rafa has won 5 titles and 8 overall finals and is once again the great favorite for the final victory of the tournament.
With the absence of world number one Novak Djokovic will be the Majorcan seeded number one of the tournament. Before starting Rafa had a very friendly chat with Feliciano Lopez, his great friend, tennis player and tournament director.
The two talked about many topics and Rafa revealed which tennis players he has most connected with over the years. Fresh from victory in the ATP 500 in Barcelona where Nadal also canceled a match point in the final and fought in a great battle against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rafa appeared energized in view of the next matches and above all he is working to conquer the form best in view of Roland Garros 2021, a tournament where the Spaniard aims to conquer his 21 Grand Slam title, detaching Roger Federer and thus becoming the male athlete with the most Slam titles in the world of tennis.
The Spaniard has been grappling with an eternal Grand Slam title race with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for some time and at the moment the Serbian is behind at 18 compared to 20 by Rafa and Roger. Here are some words from his chat with Feliciano: "Before the Internet came I must say that all of us older tennis players spent much more time together and also for this reason I have great relationships with them.
I get along well with all the Spaniards, I think of Marc Lopez, Pablo Andujar, Roberto Bautista and Feliciano Lopez himself. Among foreigners I have an excellent relationship with Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem, but also with Argentines Juan Monaco and Mariano Zabaleta."
Feliciano Lopez recently lavished rich praise on compatriot Rafael Nadal, particularly highlighting how he is producing his best tennis despite being well into his 30s.
Feliciano Lopez reflects 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.