Roland Garros 2024: Nadal: “Unfortunately, I don’t clarify the future for myself either” | Tennis | Sports


There’s no room for anything in the conference room when Rafael Nadal chats with journalists. He has also not been able to accommodate his agent, Carlos Costa, who listens attentively while standing to what could be the last speech of his representative. With an aseptic tone, without letting any sign of emotion escape and already thinking about what he will have to do tomorrow, after a few appropriate days of rest, the tennis player emphasizes what he already stressed two days before: not even he himself knows what will happen, when the end will be definitive of this last stretch that is so kilometer-long and indecipherable, dotted with injuries, surgery, stops and a few last rays of light that invite him, he says, not to lose heart. The Balearic Islands of the umpteenth feat did not seem so far away.

“I am proud to have come this far after what has happened,” introduces the man from Manacor, accompanied by his wife and son on this latest Parisian adventure, also by his parents and his sister. “I have had many low moments, really low ones, with many months of not seeing any kind of light, but in the end I have maintained the discipline, not always the enthusiasm, but the discipline of going every day to train and doing things in the best way I could to give myself the opportunity to get here. And in the end I did it. It couldn’t be, but I haven’t been very far from giving myself real options to be able to do something important. This is my feeling,” he continues.

Nadal leaves the City of Light satisfied, but reluctantly. He appreciates the level offered against Zverev, but regrets not having been able to exercise at greater intensity during the last month, having been conditioned by physical problems that come and go. “At times I think I have played well, really well, and at other times I have made mistakes. But a house is not built in two days. I have played three tournaments before and I have had a week to train without limitations, this is the reality. With which… In the end it is positive. I have been able to play without limitations and I have fought. I have had real options to put the match in a completely different situation against one of the best players in the world, and I think I have not taken advantage of it because I lacked baggage behind it,” he emphasizes.

Having managed to overcome the German’s huge opposition, Nadal had an appetizing scenario in perspective. He thinks that the following rounds were more affordable and that with the passing of the days and the addition of training, his tennis was going to grow and, why not, allow him to disembark in the second week of the tournament, when the experience is worth a world. “I’m not a big fan of and ifbecause the and if It doesn’t exist, but I think I was ready to take steps forward by winning a few games and putting myself in a different situation. Something that in no other tournament I felt this way. Here yes. But I have arrived as I have arrived ranking (protected, which forced him to face major rivals from the beginning) and I got the draw that I got,” he emphasizes.

Nadal, in a moment of the match.Stephanie Lecocq (REUTERS)

He suggests that he will not attend Wimbledon, in order to avoid an abrupt jump in surfaces, and points directly towards the Paris Games in the summer. “And then we’ll see,” she slips. In any case, not even he himself knows what the coming months will bring and how far the journey will go. He admits that there were moments in which he felt “mentally destroyed in terms of energy and personal happiness,” and he still has not solved an enigma whose outcome seemed close and now remains in the most absolute of indefinition. Everything is uncertain. “Maybe yes, maybe no”, the ideal synthesis of these days, of the last months (or rather the last two years) and also of tomorrow for an athlete who joined the elite in 2001, more than two decades ago.

“Really, I don’t deceive you when I tell you things. I promise you that I am totally sincere”, he addresses the audience of the room, which brings together more than 150 attendees. “Next year is one year away, so I don’t know what can happen. My body has not given me much joy in recent times. But, if the situation changes and I manage to stabilize myself and, above all, enjoy day-to-day life, which has been impossible during the last two years, I will not close any doors,” he anticipates, “but if more problems than necessary return it will no longer be a matter of patience, but of realism. Logic tells you that it is very difficult to get to next year, but reality will be seen as the weeks go by. Unfortunately, I don’t make it clear to myself either. In the end, time will tell.”


AC | Paris

Asked if he had felt more nervous than normal, because it could be the last match in the tournament that he has won 14 times, Nadal affirmed that he has prepared his entire life for it and stressed that his rejection of the tributes — He did it in Barcelona, ​​in Rome and now in Paris, but not in Madrid—responds to the fact that today, he wants to focus exclusively on the game.

“Not in anything else. I think that if they want to pay tributes to me, there will be time. If I arrive next year, the tribute that had to be done will be possible, and if not, then Mallorca is not far from here to come… In other words, I can come and have it done for me without any problem. In the end I don’t have the ego big enough to need today’s tribute; “If I really had it, I would have taken the opportunity,” he said.

Nadal describes himself as a “natural” and “normal” person, and adds that “a withdrawal is of greater importance, because it is a change in your life, but like me today I am not in a position to clarify things one hundred percent.” Well, for what? I think people are very aware that it may have been my last year here, but I have not been distracted from what my mission was, to prepare well to give myself a chance to win here, and I think I have done that. It hasn’t been possible and that’s it, right?”

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