- Rafael Nadal will always have Paris—but for now, his roads lead to Rome | tennis.com
It’s not my manner to predict outcomes and therefore count anyone out or in. But my analysis of the current process is that Rome represents the key crossroads for Nadal. Be ready to play it, throw oneself into battle and hope the body emerges healthy regardless of outcome: That will be a sign Nadal is ready to compete at Roland Garros.
But show up in Paris without a single match since January? That could well be a betrayal of Nadal’s value system. Lacking match play, what signs will reveal to Nadal that he’s indeed done his homework? I daresay Nadal feels that if he isn’t prepared to give his all at Roland Garros that he would therefore be disrespecting everyone—his fellow players, officials, sponsors, and, most of all, the spectators who pay good money to witness first-rate competition.
So it may well be, Rome or nothing. And if it’s nothing, is it Paris?
- Todd Woodbridge believes Rafael Nadal unlikely to defend Roland Garros title | nine.com.au
“I am starting to feel we’re not going to see him at Roland-Garros, not going to defend his title which would be enormous if that happened,” he said on Sports Sunday.
“There is one tournament left for him to play, that is Rome, to get some matches. If he doesn’t get to Rome and get tennis under his belt, I cannot imagine that he would put that record on the line of how fantastic he’s been at winning Roland-Garros by going there and losing early.”
… “I think he’s starting to think, ‘I don’t know if my body can take this any more’. Let’s not forget he’s had a baby now, he’s been at home, he’s got a yacht down there in Mallorca or wherever it may be – life’s pretty good. It’s going to be hard to keep pushing to get back.”
- April 24, 2005: The day Rafael Nadal won Barcelona to break into the top 10 for the first time | tennismajors.com
On this day, April 24, 2005, Rafael Nadal defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final of the Barcelona Open (6-1, 7-6, 6-3). This win, on top of giving him his second clay-court title in two weeks, propelled the 18-year-old Spaniard in the top 10 for the first time, and he would secure his spot in the elite for the next 16 years without an interruption, never dropping further than world No 10, in 2015.
- Carlos Alcaraz not planning to ‘take over’ from Rafael Nadal, wants to make ‘own history’ | eurosport.com
“Speaking of this week, it’s been two years that Rafa hasn’t been there, I’ve been lucky, or let’s say I won’t win the title. But as I’ve always said, I’ve always wanted to play against the best.
“It is a pity that we have not been able to enjoy Rafa these last two years. Let’s hope he continues playing for a long time and we can enjoy his tennis, but obviously we’re not here to take over from anyone, but to build our own history.”
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