Rafael Nadal came to Madrid to play the second Masters 1000 of the season on clay, in conditions that were not exactly ideal for the Spanish phenomenon. The landlord, who has nevertheless won five times in the Iberian capital, has returned from a painful triumph in Barcelona, however, canceling match point to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last act.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion is still not in 100% condition, a goal he aims to reach in time for Roland Garros. In the event of a 14th success in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the former world number 1 would for the first time detach his eternal rival Roger Federer in the all-time ranking of the majors.
The start of the French Open has been postponed by a week due to the delicate health situation in France, a move that had the effect of further reducing the gap on grass before Wimbledon. In a press conference before his debut in Madrid, the 34-year-old from Manacor did not want to lose his balance on the age-old issue of the calendar, preferring to focus on every single tournament.
Rafael Nadal on his schedule
“I can tell you in one month I can’t tell you now no… I don’t see a big difference between one or the other thing, for me personally, like in terms of preparations, for the tournaments" - Rafael Nadal stated.
Last year, the French Open shifted from May-June to September due to the coronavirus outbreak. Even then, the Spaniard did not fail to retain his crown and won his 13th title at Roland Garros. “Of course, in the past, the other way worked very well for me, but last year worked well, and it was completely different.
I don’t know, I mean, the situation is how it is around the world,” Nadal said. “The only thing that is a little bit less positive is we have one week less between Roland Garros and Wimbledon. That is the main issue, more than about the preparations, for me personally, for Roland Garros.
I don’t think it’s going to make a big change,” the Spaniard concluded. Rafael Nadal recently gave his thoughts on compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, who is likely to be his second-round opponent at the ongoing 2021 Mutua Madrid Open.
"Alcaraz is a very young player with a great present and an even better future," Rafael Nadal said. "He has very positive values that are appropriate for today's era. He can be a good example, and well, obviously, if he came to play against me it would be very important for him."