Rafa Roundup: Here’s why Rafael Nadal chose to play in Acapulco after Australian Open triumph


Speaking ahead of his first match against Denis Kudla, Nadal said “absolutely nothing has changed having 21 Slams, I won’t lie to you.

“From 20 to 21 there is not a very large difference. Life goes on exactly the same. The only thing that has changed is that now I play tennis, which a few months ago I couldn’t. I am very happy for everything that happened in Australia, it was very unexpected, especially before the tournament started. In my life, nothing has changed. No title is going to change what is important in my life, which are other things. Already, at 35 years old, I have a lot of experiences behind me, of successes and bad moments and these sensations already help me to live in a more calm and different way.”

Nadal, speaking in Acapulco where he plays Denis Kudla in the first round on Tuesday, said: “It will affect Novak’s [Grand Slam] history if he can’t play.

“It will affect him, not the Grand Slams themselves. Whoever wins the most Slams – it will be what it will be. Everyone takes their own decisions and must live with them. In that sense, hopefully the pandemic subsides and we stop having so many deaths around the world and this horror ends, and we can return to normality – not for Novak but for the world in general. There are many people that have suffered, but if Novak can play the Grand Slams unvaccinated, then he is welcome.”

The 21-time Grand Slam champion explained why he chose to participate at the event after his Australian Open triumph.

Nadal said: “For two reasons. One, because I have played very little in the last two years and because I feel like playing tennis. The second, because after Australia, I had to analyze how my body would respond, because always, historically, after Australia, I noticed a physical downturn. This year was similar. I did not notice the downturn right away, but it came a little later. At the pain level, my body was responding relatively well, after what happened and that led me to make the decision to come. My start to the year has been infinitely better than I could imagine.”

PHOTOS: Rafa’s presser in Acapulco

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  1. Why is Rafa playing against Denis Kudla in his first match in Acapulco and not Riley Opelka? Did Opelks withdraw after his exploits in Delray Beach? Whatever the reason, I think it’s a blessing in disguise for Rafa.

  2. A lesson from Rafa…..Enjoy what you enjoy and love what you love. Do both while you can and when you can. Thanks Rafa!!!

  3. There you have it! If Rafa says his body is well and he wants to play more tennis, who are we to question it 😃 He probably wants to keep the good feelings going on hardcourt after the AO.

  4. I was happy to read Rafa’s comments about playing in Acapulco. Many of my fellow Rafans were hoping that he would rest. I was torn since I always enjoy when Rafa plays. I hope that he will do deep despite a tough draw. The most important thing is that Rafa stays healthy.

  5. His explanation makes some sense now. Obviously he wouldn’t have played if he wasn’t physically ready, but it’s true he hasn’t played a lot even in 2020 and after so in that sense it’s required. I do wish the surface was faster but regardless I wish he tries to play quick points and experiment with his game prior to Indian wells.

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