Rafael Nadal preparing for ’emotional’ Madrid homecoming, but knows things will be ‘a little bit tougher’
Fresh from winning a record-extending Barcelona Open title, Rafael Nadal heads to the Madrid Open with a positive mindset although he concedes that the conditions at Caja Magica don’t favour him.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner held off Stefanos Tsitsipas in a three-hour, three-set encounter last Sunday to lift the ATP 500 trophy in Barcelona for a 12th time.
It was his first title of the 2021 season and he hopes it will lead to bigger and better things this year.
“The feeling to win again and to win a match like this is always positive,” he said. “I live my tennis career with passion, and that’s the result of the passion when you win a match like this.”
The Masters 1000 Madrid Open starts this week and Nadal will be gunning for a sixth title in the Spanish capital.
While he knows he will be up against it due to the altitude, the return of fans at the Caja Magica is something that will give him a boost.
“[Madrid] is the most difficult event [on clay] for me, everybody knows. But at the same time [it] is one of the most emotional events for me, playing at home,” he said. “We [are] going to have a chance to play with a crowd again. So that means a lot to me. [I am] super happy to be back here.
“In terms of tennis, [it] is true that here the situation is a little bit tougher. [I have] less control. [It is] more difficult to be under control in the points. I had some success here… I had some good tournaments. I’m excited to be back and I hope to be ready to play well.”
He added: “My mindset is always the same. Arrive to a tournament, have the right preparation, and try to be ready to compete at the highest level [from] the beginning.”
Jannik Sinner sets out to bag Sofia Open hat-trick
Can Jannik Sinner win the title in Sofia for the third time in a row?
Wimbledon ban proves a blessing for Liudmila Samsonova
Liudmila Samsonova says missing Wimbledon allowed her to work on her game and she is now reaping the benefits.
Roger Federer disappointed by Laver Cup farewell defeat
Team World won the Ryder Cup-style team competition 13-8 at the O2.
Moving on from Roger Federer – what comes next for men’s tennis
Federer has called it a day but what comes next for tennis.
Roger Federer backed as future captain of Team Europe at Laver Cup
Bjorn Borg confirmed he will step down from the role after the 2023 edition in Vancouver.
Andy Murray pondering his own retirement question after week of reflection
We now wait to see which member of the fable ‘Big Four’ will join Federer in retirement and Murray might well be next.
ATP Rankings: Lorenzo Sonego returns to top 50 with Metz win
Lorenzo Sonego will jump 20 places to be ranked as the World No 45 next week after he beat Alexander Bublik on Sunday.
Frances Tiafoe and Felix Auger-Aliassime lead Team World to Laver Cup win
Frances Tiafoe and Felix Auger-Aliassime scored big victories on Sunday to save John McEnroe’s bacon.
Felix Auger-Aliassime puts Team World on the brink of Laver Cup history
Felix Auger-Aliassime had a Sunday to remember at the Laver Cup