Beyond his elimination in the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open, Rafael Nadal assures that he left with "positive" feelings. A balance of two victories and one defeat in the Caja Mágica, make the Spanish tennis player reflect on his next commitments on the European tour on brick dust.
“It has been a week in which there have been many positive things. I have done well in training. I am leaving Madrid with good feelings in general, but with an ugly feeling of having played a game like the quarterfinal against Zverev.
I think that during most of the first set I have been better than him and that is the negative, that being better than him in that first set I lost 6-4. This is something that is difficult to understand, and more in me, that if something happens it is the other way around, I can win sets being inferior to the rival”, commented the current world number two.
“I think that in many moments of the first set I have been superior and, nevertheless, due to a few unjustifiable errors in the moments in which it was not necessary to make them, I go with a set down and with a totally different perspective: Calvary and he has made an important advance", added the Mallorcan.
Now his energies will put them in Rome, where he will try to get the first of the three Masters 1000 that he will contest on clay this year. Then it will be the turn to think about what is undoubtedly his great objective, the possibility of being able to lift his 14th title at Roland Garros.
In a recent interview, the 34-year-old revealed that the COVID-19 crisis had made him take serious stock of his priorities. He also claimed that the pandemic-related doubts played a big part in his decision to skip the defence of his US Open title.
Rafael Nadal reflects on the past year
"It has been a tough year, I really believe, for everyone," Rafael Nadal said. "If you are not completely arrogant, everybody needs to be less happy under these very difficult circumstances around the world, no? Because you have a lot of people suffering, a lot of people have lost a family member, a lot of people are losing their companies, their job.
For me personally, it was not an easy year. I don't think it is a good thing to stop the body dramatically like we had to do for two months," the Spaniard said. "We had lockdown, then when you come back – especially with older bodies that have [clocked up] a lot of kilometres – it is difficult to do so at the highest level.
But I really believe that we managed it well." Rafael Nadal acknowledged that he may well have received the award mainly because he equalled Roger Federer's Slam record. "Well, I am happy with 20," Nadal asserted.
"It doesn't mean that I don't want 21! But yes, of course, probably [I won] this Laureus award because of equalling the number of Roger."