Rafael Nadal: 'I am not nostalgic, but I keep...'

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Rafael Nadal: 'I am not nostalgic, but I keep...'

The best players in the world are ready to compete this week at the Mutua Madrid Open. At the helm is the five-time tournament champion Rafael Nadal, who brings confidence after his triumph in Barcelona. Nadal will be joined by world No.

3 Daniil Medvedev, two-time Madrid finalist Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas, among many other tough opponents. If Madrid has a first-time ATP Masters 1000 champion, this will be only the second time that the first three tournaments of the season at this level have been won by a first-time Masters 1000 champion.

Hubert Hurkacz won in Miami and Tsitsipas lifted the trophy in Monte Carlo. The other time this happened was in 1990, the series' first year. Before the game begins, ATPTour.com discusses 10 things to see in Madrid. The local favorite arrives at the Caja Mágica as a favorite, and will hope to triumph in Madrid for the sixth time.

Nadal, who owns a 52-12 record in this event, has not reached the quarterfinals here only once since 2004 (in 2012). The left-hander, who has contested the championship in Madrid three times in addition to his five trophies, could face a Spanish teammate in his first match if #NextGenATP star Carlos Alcaraz defeats French left-hander Adrián Mannarino.

Nadal has won both of his previous ATP Head2Head encounters against Mannarino in straight sets. 2) Best Tsitsipas: This is only Tsitsipas' third appearance in this tournament, but he has already been successful here. The Greek entered the championship match in 2019 with wins against Alexander Zverev and Nadal along the way, and only Novak Djokovic was able to stop him.

Tsitsipas is as confident as ever, he recently won his first Masters 1000 title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. The Greek maintained his great form in Barcelona, ​​where he held a championship point against Nadal before coming up short.

The fourth seed will start his career in Madrid against Munich finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili or Benoit Paire.

Rafael Nadal on his special memories

Rafael Nadal said he is not someone who dwells on his past results, but his many glorious moments will remain forever golden for him.

“I miss my youth. I am not nostalgic, but I keep all the memories of my career,” the current World No. 3 said. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who outlasted World No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets to lift a record 12th Barcelona title this year, said championship wins do take on a new meaning when they come at his age.

“As the years go by, the triumphs are celebrated in a different way,” Nadal said. The Spaniard said he still enjoys spilling his guts out in court and going hard at his rivals for titles.

Rafael Nadal