For a few days the world of tennis has been talking about a Spanish player who continues to win and convince, but for once it is not about Rafael Nadal. A feeling that must be strange even for Rafa himself, who in Madrid was among the victims of Carlos Alcaraz and in Rome he appeared both with the intention of making his way, and putting more tennis on his legs ahead of Roland Garros. Great goal to further stretch Djokovic and Federer in the Slam title count, after January’s success in Melbourne. “I have to keep improving -said the ten-time Internazionali BNL d’Italia champion in his press conference prior to the tournament-, but I’ve been arriving in Madrid for a week and it hasn’t been bad, despite the fact that for reasons of altitude, this it is for me the most difficult among clay court tournaments. I haven’t trained for a month and a half, that’s why I know it’s not immediate to be able to regain confidence, level of play, athletic condition and everything else. My body -he added- is like an old car: it takes time to return to start up. I’m almost 36 years old, I’m not 19 anymore, so it always takes time to recover. I am happy to be in Rome, a place that I love and where I have so many amazing memories. I will try to do my best and I hope to be ready to play a little better than last week. I am confident, and I hope I can go out for a good week.” Of course, Nadal was also asked to comment on Alcaraz: he faced him in Madrid, and seventeen years ago he experienced a very similar explosion.
Rafa Nadal turns 36 next month
Eighteen-time Slam champion Martina Navratilova has labelled Rafael Nadal as ‘superman’, citing the Mallorcan’s longevity and ability to mount a comeback after every injury. “It may be. He’s still playing. We don’t know how long it will last because tennis is very demanding, and he has injuries, but he always comes back,” Navratilova said. “With a broken rib, and he’s back. He is Superman; he should go with a cloak. He seems indestructible,” she added. Nadal, who turns 36 next month, needs three more Slams to draw level with Court. His triumph Down Under earlier this year proved that he still has it in him to win non-clay Majors. Rafael Nadal gave a kick start to the year by breaking the three-way tie of 20 Grand Slam victories between him, Federer, and Djokovic. He claimed his 21st Grand Slam title at the 2022 Australian Open.