Rafa Nadal said there were positives to take from the Madrid Open despite the 21-times major winner falling to a quarter-final defeat by teenager Carlos Alcaraz on Friday in his first tournament back following a stress fracture in the rib.
Australian Open champion Nadal, who picked up the injury at Indian Wells in March, went down 6-2 1-6 6-3 to Spanish compatriot Alcaraz, ending his quest for a sixth title at the ATP Masters 1000 event. read more
“The reading of the tournament is I have played three matches and that I came here with hardly any preparation… I said it before coming here it was going to be a tough week,” Nadal told reporters.
“But it has not been a disaster in any case. I think that I have competed with the correct attitude. I have played two, two-and-a-half hours, nearly three… this is a positive outcome.”
The 35-year-old overcame Miomir Kecmanovic and David Goffin in his opening two matches before coming up short against an inspired Alcaraz.
Nadal added that he would have ideally preferred to make a return to action at the Estoril Open in Portugal last week because of the high altitude in the Spanish capital.
“It would have been much better to start the week before in Estoril, at sea level, a 250 tournament, but I didn’t manage to make it,” said Nadal, who will be bidding for a record-extending 14th title at Roland Garros later this month.
“I came here knowing that this is the toughest tournament, because here the ball flies much more. When they return the ball, you have to be much faster with your legs… because if you don’t position yourself properly behind the ball, the unforced error comes easily.”
Smiling Saka Lights Up England Again
Kane On Target Again As England Ease Past Ukraine
South Africa Chase Down Record T20 Target To Beat Windies
Argentina FA Training Facility Renamed After Messi
Rybakina Rallies Past Badosa, Potapova Upsets Gauff In Miami
England’s Kane Tells PM Sunak He Aims To Be Premier League Record Scorer
Wales Snatch Late Goal To Draw With Croatia
Bayern Squad Among Best And Can Challenge For Every Title – Tuchel
Germany Kick Off Euro 2024 Mission With Friendly Win Over Peru
Windies Skipper Smashes His Side To T20 Win Over South Africa
Qatar’s Al Thani Submits New US$6 billion Bid For Manchester United – Report
France Already Firing On All Cylinders As New Chapter Begins