Rafael Nadal: I have to find myself

Photo: Manel Montilla/Mundo Deportivo

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal said on Monday he won’t waste time dwelling on his weekend Monte Carlo semi-final loss but instead will concentrate on bouncing back at the Barcelona Open.

“What has happened has happened, whatever the reasons are,” the 11-time Barcelona champion said after a promotional appearance at a mini-tennis event in the Catalan capital.

“I don’t know the future, but I will go back to work. The job is to find myself,” Rafa said.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner, who returned at Monte Carlo after a knee injury, put a positive spin on his Saturday setback against eventual tournament winner Fabio Fognin.

“Monte Carlo was a step forward compared to where I was a week earlier,” Rafa said.

He was joined at a mini-tennis court set up at an ornate Barcelona classical concert hall by two-time tournament champion Kei Nishikori.

The Spaniard will open his title defence on Wednesday against Argentine Leo Mayer, a first-round winner over Marius Copil 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 7-5.

Rafa called his first light hit-out since Saturday’s loss “normal.”

“It’s the first day of practice in a different place. I did what I had to do,” he said.

He again labelled his defeat to Fognini “one of the worst matches on clay.”

“It’s a reality. There is no need to hide it. I don’t see any benefit in denying it.”

– ‘Another chance to start season’ –

As usual, the 32-year-old Spaniard is focussing on the bright side as the pre-Roland Garros clay season hits full stride.

“I lost a good opportunity to start the season in a fantastic way. But I’ve now got another one.

“We will know more about my form on Wednesday. This is a very special tournament that is part of the history of tennis and of my own.

“I have another morning to practice and we will see how we are doing. On a physical level, I’m more or less well.

“I’ve reached the finals in Australia, semi-finals in Indian Wells and now semi-finals again in Monte Carlo.

“The year is not bad, I’m third in the race (to the year-end championship) – but with more problems than I would have wanted.”

Rafa said repeated injuries have played a role in denying him the momentum he needs.

“I have to find myself. During the last 18 months I’ve had too many non-tennis related stops, ups and downs.

“When that happens, it’s hard to pick up rhythm. But it’s happened so many times that the (good times) seem to be forgotten.

“I hope to be ready to play well – but if not here, it will be at Madrid, in Rome or at Roland Garros.”

Source: AFP


  1. Buena suerte, Rafa. You havea good woman next to you. Marry her. See a counselor to help you find yourself and CHILL. 👍👏💪

  2. Admittedly, Fognini played well to win Monte Carlo. However, his attitude and lack of respect for others is disgusting. Rafael is not infallible which we must all accept. He is doing his best to move
    forward. Regardless of what anyone writes or says, he must find it within himself. He has always had the will to win, and now he must contend with physical issues. We wish him the best-he is a master problem solver🤔😍❤️

  3. Wish you a fantastic week in Barcelona. Believe in yourself and your level will raise day by day. Vamos Rafa <3

  4. Being a champion is not easy. I hope Rafa does find himself because time is of the essence. As I suspected, he isn’t focused. I feel his inability to trust anyone outside of his circle may have deprived him of help from a sports therapist. My thoughts.


    • Well said Margo… I completely agree with your take about Rafa’s inability to trust anyone outside of his circle.

      • Imagine having to worry about a wedding, an even more daunting task for a global star-athlete; and the betrayal of whomever leaked Rafa’s plan to wed to the Hola publication; worrying if he can avoid injury especially during clay season; providing for a wonderful honeymoon for his bride because she may be even more private than he is; his commitments. And all the other worries that only he knows of. He is Superman on clay but may need a hand in real life.


  5. Well said Rafa! What’s past is past, we can’t change what’s past but we can look to do better at present and for the future.

    I believe each failure serves as a lesson for us to learn about our mistake and so will help us avoid making the same mistake again.

    Vamos Rafa, all the best for Barcelona and beyond!

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