On Friday, for the first time in his Barcelona Open campaign this week, Rafael Nadal registered a relatively stress-free win. The Spaniard beat Britain's Cameron Norrie in straight sets, advancing to the semifinals without much trouble.
However, Nadal still wasn't satisfied with his level during the match. The 11-time Barcelona champion, in fact, chose to hit the practice courts immediately after his quarterfinal win.
Rafael Nadal claimed during his on-court interview that he was playing well initially before slowing down a little bit in the second set.
"I played well at the beginning... then I stopped little bit myself, something that cannot happen, especially tomorrow," Rafael Nadal said.
Althgough he cruised to victory while dropping just five games, Rafael Nadal was unhappy with his lackadaisical play in the last three games of the match. The Spaniard dropped his serve at 4-3 in the second set, but broke Norrie in the next game before eventually closing it out 6-1, 6-4.
Nadal insisted in the immediate aftermath of the match that there were a few kinks in his game that needed to be fixed. He also revealed that he was heading to the practice courts right away, just to loosen his arm for a few minutes.
"But only to let the arms free, just to hit for around 10-15 minutes," Nadal said.
"I was feeling well and wanted to go & let the arm free a bit" - Rafael Nadal
According to recent reports, Rafael Nadal started working on his groundstrokes just as Diego Schwartzman and Pablo Carreno Busta took to the main court for their quarterfinal encounter. The winner of that match is scheduled to face Nadal for a place in the final at Barcelona.
At the practice court, Nadal was joined by his coach Carlos Moya as well as a few other members of his camp.
After getting done with his training work, Rafael Nadal interacted with the media again. The Spaniard was, naturally, asked about his impromptu practice session, in response to which he quipped that he needed to do some fine-tuning as his match on Friday was 'a bit short'.
"After the match I've gone to the practice court to work the forehand & the backhand because the match was a bit short," Nadal said. "I was feeling well and wanted to go and let the arm free a bit."