Rafa Roundup: “I am just working hard to continue to improve”


“I have always been able to find a way to adapt my game when I have needed to become better,” Nadal said in his pre-tournament press conference in Indian Wells. “Some days I have played aggressively, some days I have played a little more defensively and more tactically.

“My serve has been working well, which is important at this stage in my career. Then I think I have been brave enough to play with the right determination when needed. I am just working hard to continue to improve, but I am happy with the level of tennis and intensity I am showing on court.”

“I have been here for more than a week,” Nadal added. “I always enjoy it here. It is one of my favourite tournaments without a doubt. I take it day by day, just trying to enjoy the moment. It is unexpected for me to be in this position, so I am enjoying it every day and trying to enjoy the fact I am playing well. I have already won three titles this year and that is amazing for me.”

“It’s so difficult to talk in my position because from from one point of view, I have a good relationship with Sascha (Zverev)– I like him and I practice with him very often,” Nadal said.

“I wish him all the very best and he knows that he was wrong, honestly, and he recognized that very early. So that’s a positive thing in his side, in my opinion. On the other hand … if we’re not able to control and create a rule or or a way to penalise this type of attitudes a little bit in a stronger way, then we as a players, we feel stronger and stronger all the time. We need to be a positive example, especially for the kids watching us. So from one side, I don’t want a penalization for Sascha because I like him and I have very good relationship with him. In the other hand … I’d like to see something harder for this kind of attitudes, not only him, I mean in general terms because this protects the sport and protects the referees.”

Speaking to Eurosport, former seven time major winner Mats Wilander cannot believe the comeback Rafael Nadal has made. “Obviously, he is turning 36 during the French Open, and it would be amazing if he can keep this up when we really thought last year that this was very close to being the end of Rafa’s career.”

“He thought himself it could be close to the end of his career. I would never imagine that he would be able to do what he is doing, even though he would always be playing physically. No, not in a million years would I have thought that Rafa Nadal could do that, not this part of the year.  Now we are back to Rafael Nadal, the ageless clay court king. I mean, he is closer to 16 years old than he is 36 years old emotionally, and that is where he separates himself from the others in the ‘big three’, I have to say.”

PHOTOS: Rafa’s pre-tournament press conference in Indian Wells

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  1. Indian Wells will test whether being rested, relaxed, healthy, happy and confident results in good tennis because it seems like Rafa is all of those things. Go Rafa!

  2. It’s very difficult when players are asked questions about other players, because whatever they say will be blown up into a big deal and made to sound like some sort of deadly feud, when that’s not at all how it is. But I am concerned about Sascha’s behaviour. I quite like the guy, and I understand that things can get very frustrating, but players cannot go around behaving like that on court. Imagine if I went berserk at work and smashed up a colleague’s office. You just can’t do that.

  3. Am delighted to such positivity from Rafa in relation to his game right now. Stay healthy my Champion, enjoy IW, looking forward to your first match tomorrow. Buena Suerte 🇪🇦🇪🇦☘

  4. Honest opinions from Rafa and Mats. Enjoy IW and have a great tournament. Orange and SoCal

  5. God has truly gifted you, Rafa. We are thankful! Vamos! Wish I could come see you in CA – I live in Vegas – so close yet they have ridiculous mandates in place… not gonna happen. Love knowing how close you are though! Go get em!

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