The ongoing pandemic has affected every individual on planet earth in some way or the other. And among them is World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who has had his own share of struggles during the lockdown.
The Spaniard recently took part in a 'well-being' summit conducted by celebrated basketball player Pau Gasol. In his chat with Gasol, Rafael Nadal spoke at length about the confinement and how he dealt with its adverse effects.
The first week cost me a lot: Rafael Nadal
Just days before lockdowns were enforced all around the world, Rafael Nadal had emerged victorious at the Mexico Open by getting the better of Taylor Fritz (6-3, 6-2). Not many had expected this large-scale threat of COVID-19 at that point, and neither had Nadal.
The Spaniard was taken aback by the crisis initially, and took some time to adjust. He summed up his initial experiences by saying:
“Well, well, to be honest, because the first week also cost me a lot, the reality is that I completely lost the night hours... But of course I think that in the end we live a totally unprecedented situation for everyone and also with great general sadness.”
Rafael Nadal is arguably the toughest player on tour, both mentally and physically. But the pandemic managed to break through his defenses, leaving him flustered.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion is known to be a very particular and fastidious man. Rafael Nadal has his specific set of habits that follows at fixed times, like taking three showers a day, eating 500 grams of fruit daily and practicing for a set number of hours. But the lockdown made it very difficult for him to follow his daily regime.
“Living with something that is totally new for everyone and obviously so negative I think that I personally was very affected by the first weeks," Rafael Nadal told Pau Gasol. "That is, it was difficult for me to take the routines. For us it is not an office job, so this (confinement) complicates it a little more.”
It was important to have objectives: Rafael Nadal
The next phase for Rafael Nadal was to adapt and overcome the issues that he was facing. He described his path to recovery in quite some detail to Pau Gasol, specifying that he had to make up a plan to overcome the difficulties in front of him.
"As the weeks went by, so you can start to control a little daily guidelines of going to sleep at a certain time to get up to do a daily routine," Nadal said. "There are daily routines of getting up early at seven-thirty to go to train, I start training at 8, according to which, of course, it takes an hour.”
Training regularly and also carrying out some daily chores helped Rafael Nadal recover gradually. He kept reminding himself that humans have the innate gift to adapt to all kinds of situations, which helped him in his recovery phase.
The Spaniard then set out objectives to cement the new practices in his daily life. Nadal highlighted these to Gasol by elaborating
“Obviously, in this type, I think it is also important to have objectives," Nadal elaborated. "Besides, the initiative was, I think, first, then necessary, second, I think that it was nice that so many people would join to help others, and third, because I think it also helped us all to have. It is also a daily occupation to know that we had to do a series of things to try to contribute to something more important.”
Rafael Nadal eventually got back to his normal mental state, and we now see him rigorously training for the clay-swing of the year. In the end, Nadal emerged victorious - like he usually does - while displaying his indomitable spirit and courage.Published 28 Jul 2020, 23:19 IST