Rafael Nadal: ‘It was a rollercoaster’ ATP Tour

Rafael Nadal he revealed he was thrilled to win the first round against Miomir Kecmanović after returning to the ATP Tour. However, he once again stressed the need for patience as he wants to build his fitness at the stadium Mutua Madrid Open.

The Spaniard defeated Serbia 6-1, 7-6 (4) in his first match at Manolo Santana Stadium in March since suffering a rib injury in March.

“I am leaving the match very, very happy,” Nadal said at his post-match press conference. “You have to be honest with yourself whenever you can. You have to be honest with yourself. My preparation did not exist. You can’t expect big things in the beginning, because before coming here the first day of training was last Thursday. I trained very, very little.

“I trained one day, and all the trainings had some ups and downs. It was a rollercoaster. I had better and worse days. That’s logical. I think I felt a little better yesterday, and today I also felt good in the pre-warm-up. I think I played a good match in general. “

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World No. 4 has shown good results in returning from failure due to injuries in recent years, with his triumph at Australian Open in January a perfect example. Nadal missed the second half of 2021 due to a foot injury, but returned victorious to Australia, winning Summer set in Melbourne title before earning a record 21st Grand Slam crown at the Aussie Open.

The 35-year-old believes his victory in the second round in Madrid is a key step in the right direction as he wants to increase momentum again.

“I could play for an hour today [and] 55 minutes against an opponent who has played very well over the past months, therefore [it is] a really good victory, ”said Nadal. “Great value for that. One hour [and] 55 minutes on the field helps me a lot to achieve my ultimate goal, which is to recover my previous health and previous condition. I am very excited about that.

“If you come back and win the first matches, then you will be able to get back on track. While if you come back and lose and lose, you end up in a losing circle that doesn’t get the rhythm of the matches. So the first games are crucial. They have really great value and for me today’s victory is very important for that reason. “

Nadal will aim to win his sixth title in Madrid this week, and next face the Belgian David Goffin. The 91-time tour-level champion is grateful for the opportunity to play once again at home in the Spanish capital.

“Playing in Spain is something very, very important, and here in Madrid the support and love of the people has always been unconditional,” Nadal said. “I’m aware of my age that I don’t know how many more times I’ll have the opportunity to play here in front of these people, so I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible.”

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