Rafael Nadal shares a brutal analysis of his physical state in Barcelona

The Spaniard revealed how he couldn't play at his best

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Rafael Nadal shares a brutal analysis of his physical state in Barcelona
© @bcnopenbs X account

"Analyzing this week the positive thing is that I was able to play once again in Barcelona, a week ago I didn't think this would happen and so it's positive. Furthermore, I finished this tournament without getting injured, I was very careful at all times and the negative thing is that I would have liked to play more and maybe win.

The reality is that I had to play with the handbrake on, there is no other choice and I had to accept all this. It's not easy, all this goes in the opposite way to how I perceive sport but this is the only way I can act to have a chance in the coming weeks."

Rafael Nadal talked about the match he lost against Alex De Minaur and his condition after playing the second round in the ATP tournament in Barcelona

We hadn't seen Rafa on the court since The Netflix Slam, in Las Vegas against Carlitos Alcaraz, but this week the Spaniard finally returned to play. Nadal now seems to be at the end of his professional career and, barring sensational twists and as confirmed by him, he will end his career in 2024.

Rafael Nadal, Barcelona 2024
Rafael Nadal, Barcelona 2024© David Ramos / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

For Rafa the goal is not just to get on the court but above all to be competitive. In the next few weeks, the Spaniard will face the clay-court tournaments in which he will participate with the aim of getting in shape at the Roland Garros.

Nadal hopes to close his Parisian career with a noteworthy performance in Bois de Boulogne. The Spanish tennis player played two matches in Barcelona and, after winning the first, he surrendered in two sets in the match against De Minaur.

"I played against a very high level tennis player who has had an excellent season so far. After losing the first set the match was practically over. In the second set I had the chance to win a few games but I wasn't prepared for a battle of over two hours against a tennis player like him.

I had some chances in the first set but I felt the pressure, I knew that if I gave up that set it would be over. My goal is to play the next tournaments and then day after day I will evaluate whether I can really play, not the results. Getting on the pitch and giving my best, that's my priority," he added.

Rafael Nadal, Barcelona 2024
Rafael Nadal, Barcelona 2024© David Ramos / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

Rafa is approaching the Roland Garros

After a balanced first set, in which the 37-year-old Spaniard played good tennis overall, De Minaur became practically unplayable in the second set.

"It wasn't today that I had to leave everything and die, in Paris it will go as God wants. There I hope to be competitive and that's the time. I had the opportunity to say goodbye to Godó while playing. A week ago I thought I wouldn't be able to play here again. The clear message before the tournament was to prioritize taking no risks.

The important thing was to be able to play and I played. Being on the pitch is great news. By losing the first set I couldn't fight for the match and it was over. I play with what I have and there are times when I don't play. I can't afford to play a three-hour match today," he explained.

Rafael Nadal, Barcelona 2024
Rafael Nadal, Barcelona 2024© David Ramos / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

"I hope to be in Madrid in a week. I hope to accumulate training and match days. Normally it would have been my last game in Barcelona. I'm fine, at the end of the day I'm a pretty stable person emotionally. I take things philosophically and analyze them in the right way.

I have always respected the history of our sport and this tournament is one of the most historic. I really enjoyed playing here. I managed to win 12 times, which is unimaginable. I will continue on my way, this is tennis.

In sports, generations pass and others will come. There is no player more important than classic and historical tournaments. I was lucky enough to write a good story at Godó and others will come who will try to surpass it.

Everything has a beginning and an end, and it's not a drama. It hurts me because I would have liked to fight for the tournament. On a personal level, for what is to come, I come away strengthened. The 6-1 in the second set is what should have happened today," analyzed Nadal.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© @bcnopenbs X account
 

"I can't afford to play a 2-3 hour match at a competitive level at the moment. I'm very clear on what I can and can't do, sometimes I've had to slow down the pace a bit. In the last three months I haven't even been able to to train a lot on serve, so it's difficult to serve normally for a couple of hours.

This hasn't happened since Brisbane. Before coming here I only played a few training sets and the Las Vegas match, I didn't play anything else. I had some opportunities, some moments that could have gone in my favor but I made some mistakes with my forehand. I disappointed the fans a bit because I competed very little, but I accept what I have and where I come from. I try to be positive at all times," he then told.

Rafael Nadal
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