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"Very difficult, but I just try to accept it and play with right attitude" - Rafael Nadal on possibly facing Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic in Madrid

Rafael Nadal admitted that he has a pretty difficult draw ahead of him at the 2022 Madrid Masters
Rafael Nadal admitted that he has a pretty difficult draw ahead of him at the 2022 Madrid Masters
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Shyam Kamal

The draw for the 2022 Madrid Masters was announced yesterday and Rafael Nadal has one of the hardest paths to the title. If the seedings hold, the 21-time Grand Slam champion will have to face off against teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals and top seed Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.

If he proceeds to the final, the Spaniard might have to lock horns with reigning Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or defending champion Alexander Zverev.

2022 #MMOPEN projected quarter-finals (by seeding):πŸ‡·πŸ‡Έ Djokovic vs Ruud πŸ‡³πŸ‡΄πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ Nadal vs Alcaraz πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈRublev vs Tsitsipas πŸ‡¬πŸ‡·πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Auger-Aliassime vs Zverev πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺWho you backing?

But the draw has not fazed the Mallorcan in the slightest, who has already accepted that he will have to perform at the highest level to win his sixth title at the tournament.

Speaking in an interview with ATPTour.com, the World No. 4 remarked that he was not too distressed by how his injury recovery was coming along. The Madrid Masters is the first event Nadal will be playing since the Indian Wells Open back in March, where he lost in the final to Taylor Fritz.

The top half of the men's Madrid draw is...provocative.Murray vs Thiem in R1. Winner probably to face Shapovalov.Djokovic's first match likely vs Monfils. Nadal's first match vs Bublik or Kecmanovic.Nadal vs Alcaraz is a possible QF. Winner could then face Djokovic in SFs.

Having spent the last five weeks on the sidelines due to a rib injury, the former World No. 1 noted that he wasn't sure how long it would take before he could be back at his imperial best. A Masters 1000 tournament might not be the ideal event to get back into rhythm, but the 35-year-old remained confident, adding that all he could do was play with the "right attitude."

"There's no mathematics [on how many matches I need to get better]. Victories help, and the time spent on court. I am better today than a couple of days ago," Nadal said. "The draw is very difficult for me, but I just try to accept and it and play with the right attitude."
Pretty wild to think that Nadal entered the Top 10 exactly 17 years ago on April 25, 2005 and has never left ever since. Considering all of his injuries, surgeries, and comebacks, longevity records like this must feel so good.

Regarding his latest injury, the Mallorcan admitted that it was "tiring" to constantly battle such obstacles throughout his career. However, the 21-time Grand Slam champion saw the glass as half full, noting that he had the necessary experience to stay positive under such circumstances.

"It's tiring. It's happened too many times in my life. It's not easy to accept the challenge every single time. But I have the experience. I have no time to complain. Just time to keep going, stay positive and be better and better every day," Nadal said.

"I remember my first tournament, it was a big surprise for me to win that match, and for everyone else too" - Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal recalled his first ever ATP tour level match during the interview
Rafael Nadal recalled his first ever ATP tour level match during the interview

During the interview, Rafael Nadal also reminisced about his first ever match on the ATP tour, which came almost 20 years ago at the 2002 Majorca Open. The Spaniard defeated Ramon Delgado in the first round at the age of 15 years and 10 months, becoming the ninth player in ATP history to win a match before turning 16.

On this day in 2002, 15-year-old Rafael Nadal made his professional debut at the Mallorca Open, beating Ramon Delgado 6-4, 6-4!20 years later, he is still on top of the sport πŸ™Œ https://t.co/OdgACoCI1x

The former World No. 1 revealed that he had fond memories of the match, although the result was a surprise at the time for him and his team.

"I remember my first tournament because I was not a professional at that time. It was a big surprise for me to win that match, and for everyone else too. It was my first experience on a professional tournament and I enjoyed it," he said. "But I consider myself a professional only from 2003."
1000 match wins (& counting…) @RafaelNadal | #Rafa1000 πŸ’ͺ https://t.co/i4nTixzuPo

The Spaniard has amassed over 1,000 wins in his career (1,048 to be exact), but remarked that he had no such dreams when he started out. Instead, the 35-year-old recalled how his focus was always on getting through every day and trying to rack up as many points as possible, like any regular teenager would.

"You can't think when you are 15 that you will win over a 1000 matches. You're not able to think much about that. You just follow the day-by-day and don't dream that high, you know?" Nadal said. "You just dream about doing the right things to win ATP points and improving your ranking and to have the chance to be [regularly] on the tour. That's all I was dreaming about."

Also Check Out :-Madrid Open 2022 Results


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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