The second part of the season did not give Rafael Nadal great joys, at least on the competitive level. After winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros, the former world number 1 has once again had to deal with physical problems. A tear in the abs prevented him from playing the Wimbledon semifinal against Nick Kyrgios, as well as influencing his approach to the US Open. The Spanish champion arrived in New York in precarious conditions, leaving the scene already in the second round against the home favorite Frances Tiafoe. On Saturday 8 October, Rafa and his wife Xisca gave birth to their first child. The 36-year-old from Manacor returned to the field in the Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy, where he stopped in the second round against Tommy Paul. He did not fare better at the ATP Finals in Turin, as the Iberian was eliminated already in the group stage after losing to Fritz and Auger-Aliassime. The statement about Casper Ruud on the last day of the ‘Green Group’ was worthless. In a press conference during his tour in South America, the Majorcan also spoke about the World Cup.
Rafa Nadal opens up on Messi
“As a Real Madrid fan, I have suffered from Messi. Although as a sports lover, many times I enjoy watching him play. He is a top player in history and he played almost his entire career in my country,” Rafael Nadal expressed. With the ongoing buzz about the FIFA World Cup, the Spaniard, during the press meet, was asked about whom he considers favorites to lift the title. “I still think that Argentina is a candidate to win the World Cup. There are teams with a tad of advantage over the others: Argentina, Spain, France, Portugal, Germany. But any team will have options. It cannot be predicted. As a Spaniard I trust us,” the Mallorcan said. Rafael Nadal is in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as part of his Latin American exhibition tour with World No. 3 Casper Ruud. “In the past there was Borg, McEnroe, Sampras, Lendl. Today we are and there is no one more important than sport. Every year there will be four Grand Slam champions and multiple historical champions. The next generation will continue to forge their way with the titles. Time will generate stars that are on the way,” he said, as per ESPN Tenis. “Because of the contrast of styles, personalities and affinity, and for sharing so many beautiful things on and off the court, Roger Federer ‘s retirement was saying goodbye to an important part of my life,” he remarked.