Despite dropping out of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Thursday below his best due to a persistent foot problem, Rafael Nadal insists he would do all in his power – including having his doctor on standby in Paris – to launch a serious push to win Roland Garros.
After a tight opening two sets against Denis Shapovalov. Nadal was hampered in the third set as Shapovalov recovered to win 1-6, 7-5, 6-2, avenging a defeat to the Spaniard at the same level last year in Rome when the Canadian failed to convert two match chances.
In his post-match news conference, Nadal revealed, “I had my foot again with many discomforts.” “I am an injured player; that is nothing new to me.” It is something that exists.
“Unfortunately, my day-to-day is challenging, to be honest… It’s sometimes tough for me to accept the circumstance. It started today at half of the second set, and then it wasn’t playable for me… I don’t want to deprive Denis of anything… Today is his day. Congratulations to him.”
Nadal, a 10-time winner in Rome, completed in just his second event. After suffering a rib injury in March at Indian Wells. He lost in three sets to eventual winner Carlos Alcaraz in the Madrid quarter-finals last week, and today. The lefty was attempting to reach his 100th ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.
Even though this is a known long-term problem, the 36-time Masters 1000 winner was sad to end another event with an injury.
“The foot has been difficult since I got back,” he remarked. “It’s difficult for me to practice well for many days in a row. To compete at the most significant level, you must be able to move well, which I cannot do.
The most challenging thing.
“The most difficult thing for me today is that I’m starting to feel like I’m playing a lot better. I had a much better start to the game. My warmup was considerably better today than the day before.”
With Roland Garros starting on May 22, Nadal was questioned whether his foot would enable him to compete for a record-extending 14th victory at the clay-court major.
“I’m not sure what will happen in the next several days.” “I don’t know what may happen in a week,” he remarked.
“Now is the time to face reality and fight.” That’s it. I’m not sure whether it’s better to relax or practice. But I still have a deadline in a week and a half. I’ll keep daydreaming about that objective.
“The first thing I need to do is practice without being in agony… True, I’ll have my doctor with me for the French Open, Roland Garros. That may assist since you can do things.
“You must remain and respect all the excellent things that have occurred to me on both good and bad days.” Then there are days like today when I accept and try to keep going, even though it’s not easy.”
Nadal started the year by winning three straight tournaments, including the Australian Open, when he set a new record by winning his 21st major. After Paris this year, he hopes to be two majors ahead of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. On the other hand, Djokovic will be seeking to join Federer as the only player with 21 Grand Slam titles.