Rafael Nadal likens his body to ‘an old machine’ at Italian Open
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At nearly 35 years old and at the top of or near the top of tennis, nearly two decades later, Rafael Nadal likened his body to “an old machine.”
A machine that had been idle for more than a month while the 21-time Grand Slam champion was recovering from a rib stress fracture.
After suffering an injury during the semi-final win over Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells in March, Nadal returned to action at the Madrid Open last week, where he lost to the 19-year-old Spaniard in the quarter-finals.
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Nadal has won his first 20 matches of the year, including the Australian Open title, but he said at the Italian Open on Monday that his extended good form meant nothing now.
“My body is like an old machine. It takes some time to restart this machine,” Nadal said. “The problems I went through in my tennis career are not the same as when you (19) were about 36 years old.
Nadal added, “You need to regain confidence in your body, your movements, then you will start to feel comfortable with your tennis again.” “It’s about being confident in my behavior, regaining momentum, restoring the way I play on the ground.”
Nadal, who will turn 36 on June 3, is playing his final warm-up in Rome this week before attempting to add his record to a total of 13 French Open titles.
The tournament at Roland Garros will start in less than two weeks.
“I need some time, but this week may be a positive one, maybe not. Who knows?” Dr. Nadal. “The only thing that is certain is that I’m going to keep trying and I’m going to build confidence to try to get ready for next week for two weeks. Unfortunately this is my goal this year, because I didn’t do it. There is one more opportunity to communicate with him. “
Nadal, who has won the Italian Open a record 10 times, will play against big-serving American John Isner or Argentine qualifier Francisco Serundlo, who reached the semifinals of the Miami Open.
Top-seeded Iga Schwartz is back on tour to boost his 23-match winning streak and defend his Rome title.
Suitek was knocked out of last week’s Madrid Open due to a hand injury after winning four titles in a row.
He said he spent “five or six days” not picking up his racket.
“In the tournament, it’s great to have the opportunity to do something like this in the middle of the season,” said Suatek. “I’m refreshed. Mentally and physically, I’ve got time to rest.”
Swiatek then trained for five days at Rafael Nadal’s academy in Mallorca, Spain, which allowed him to visit the Nadal Museum.
“It was inspiring,” Swatech said. “It’s one thing to look at numbers on Wikipedia, but looking at all the trophies, it’s amazing how consistent he was in some tournaments.”
Suitek, the 2020 French Open champion, defeated Carolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in last year’s final in Rome. He will play against one of two Americans: Shelby Rogers or Allison Risk.
Ons Jabeur’s Madrid Open title still resonates around the Middle East.
The seventh-ranked Tunisian became the first Arab player to win the WTA 1000 tournament.
“Michael Jackson from the Arab world texted me,” Jabeur said, referring to Lebanese singer Ragheb Alama. “It’s a great honor for me.”
Jabeur also received a congratulatory message from Tunisian-Italian rapper Gali.
“I like his work, his songs,” Jabeur said. “She was really proud. It’s amazing. I hope to see her here in Italy.”
Jabeur will face Sorana Sarstier in the first round.
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