Nadal, 200 days later

Rafa Nadal, who has not played since February 29, opens this Wednesday against Carreño (7:00 p.m., #Vamos). Aspire to the title for the 10th time in Rome.


Rafa Nadal will compete again this Wednesday 200 days after his last match, the final of the Acapulco Mexican Open that he won against American Taylor Fritz and which was played on February 29, a few days before the world tennis circuit stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. The return of the Balearic will take place today (19:00, #Vamos), on land, in the second round of the 1000 Masters in Rome against a compatriot and good friend, Pablo Carreño, who has just played a brilliant role at the US Open.

Nadal decided not to attend the American Grand Slam due to his doubts about safety and because he did not have to defend the 2,000 points he won for his win in 2019, a loot that he kept without playing thanks to the new compensatory system of the ranking that counts the best result of 18 tournaments in a period of 22 months in order not to force tennis players to participate if they do not wish to do so in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. "I don't regret it. When you decide, you have to go to the end. There were two alternatives and I chose the best one for my family and myself," said the man from Manacor at the press conference he gave in the Eternal City.

At the Internazionali d'Italia, an event that turns 77 and one of his favorites, the world number two (9,850) will not be able to cut the difference that the ranking leader, Novak Djokovic ( 10,860), who can increase his account by 400 points if he succeeds in the record of his greatest rival. But Nadal has other incentives. To begin with, check your fitness after four months of training and a few more without playing for Roland Garros. "My form is more or less what should be had by not having played for six months. I have no expectations. Just going out on the court to do my best and be as competitive as possible. After all, competing is not like training. "he explained. The one in Rome is one of his favorite tournaments and this year he aspires to win it for the tenth time. He already owns the record for trophies (9) and victories (61), and this week he could surpass the 64 he has taken at the US Open. In addition, with a final victory he would undo the tie at 35 wound in Masters 1,000 that he has with Djokovic since he won, not long ago, at the Western & Southern Open.

Possible duel in the final

Rafa and Nole, who debuts at around 1:00 pm against the Italian Caruso, would only see each other in the final, which would be the second in a row between the two at the Foro Italico. Carreño, the Spanish rival, played yesterday in doubles with De Miñaur and lost to Colombians Cabal and Farah. The Gijón has not given much time to adapt since he arrived last Sunday, but he will be a tall opponent for Nadal, who regrets that the tournament, "always exciting, will not be the same without the public, living in the bubble and without enjoy the city. " Come back to this tennis pandemic that I missed.

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