Rafael Nadal reveals his deep regret for Sinner's absence from Rome

The Spanish champion talked about many topics in the media dey of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, including the absence of the young Italian

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Rafael Nadal reveals his deep regret for Sinner's absence from Rome
© Dan Istitene / Staff Getty Images Sport

Two old tennis lions, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, will be the most anticipated tennis players in Rome. It will be them, with their charisma, their career and their history who will take center stage. Concentrating all the attention on themselves, which otherwise they would also have had to share with Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner, both out due to injury.

During the media day of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Nadal focused on the numerous injuries that are affecting tennis players, focusing precisely on Sinner and Alcaraz.

"Jannik and Carlos are young and still have many years to play here and have many successes. No drama, the tournament will survive even without them. They are two great players and will come back.  For Italians, not to have Jannik here after everything he represents today it's terrible news. I feel sorry for him, because he deserved to play here. We can discuss the reasons that lead players to get injured. I'll tell you straight: when you push your body to the limit, eventually, you get injured. When you play faster and faster, you get injured. When you play most of the season on hard court, which is a very hard surface for the body, you get injured.

It's about tournaments, business and sport in general. There have always been injuries. I understand that for you Italians not seeing Sinner here is terrible news, especially given the way he is playing this year.  We can talk about it for hours, we've been doing it for years, and now, with Jannik and Carlos in the pits the conversation has returned to this topic. Nothing has changed, it's just a coincidence that two big players got injured at the same time. Players want to get rich, tournaments want to get rich. We accept the rules and these things can happen. I missed many major tournaments due to my injuries. You can't complain, you just have to accept the situation and move on," explained Rafa.

Nadal has struggled with injuries throughout his career and, despite being forced to miss many important tournaments, he has managed to become one of the greatest champions of this wonderful sport. The Spaniard, after taking part in two consecutive tournaments between Barcelona and Madrid, will return to play the Internazionali BNL d'Italia two years after the last time and will challenge Zizou Bergs in the first round.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Dan Istitene / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Rafael Nadal: "I want to enjoy every day in Rome"

Rafa hasn't played a match in Rome since 2022, when he was defeated by Denis Shapovalov. A few weeks later, however, he managed to win his 22nd Slam at the Roland Garros, accomplishing an epic feat.

Rafa comes from a series of problems that have affected his last two years. He will take advantage of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia to test his conditions again after Barcelona and Madrid and give himself a chance at his beloved Roland Garros. On the media day of the tournament, Rafa answered a question from our colleagues at Tennis World Italia about what playing in Rome means to him.

"It's always fantastic to be here. The crowd is very warm. This is not the time to explain all the emotions I felt here, on this court. Fantastic matches with Coria and Roger Federer the first two times I played here.  Then I managed to win that tournament many times, right? It's a tournament that is part of the history of our sport and has a lot of tradition. I'm excited and feel lucky to be back here at this stage of my career," he explained.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Dan Istitene / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

On participating in the Roland Garros, Nadal then added: "I don't have a clear answer now. First of all I want to play in Rome. This is the tournament I'm involved in today, I'm not thinking about the next one. I just want to enjoy every day. I enjoy playing and we'll see if my body allows me to carry on. When I talk about retirement, I'm not saying it because I don't like playing tennis anymore. It's about the fact that the body didn't allow me to compete for multiple weeks in a row and enjoy training on a daily basis. If you are unable to enjoy yourself due to pain and injuries, there comes a time when it no longer makes sense. Now I'm about to experience my third week in a row on the Tour and it's a good time. My level is growing."

Rafa then talked about the stages leading up to the Italian Open.

"I spent a few days at home and then arrived in Rome on Saturday. I managed to train more or less well in the last few days. I'm excited to play in Rome. It's a tournament where I made so many unforgettable memories.  We'll see how it goes day by day. It's my third consecutive week on Tour and I haven't played three tournaments in a row in a while. This is a good news. I have to keep moving forward, but I'm happy with how I feel today," he analyzed.

Rafael Nadal Internazionali Bnl
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