Rafael Nadal before the US Open: “I pay attention to the level of service”

Home » Rafael Nadal before the US Open: “I pay attention to the level of service”
Rafael Nadal before the US Open: “I pay attention to the level of service”

“You are back in New York for the first time since your fourth US Open title in 2019. How have you been feeling since your elimination as soon as you entered the competition in Cincinnati?
I am happy to be back here after several years without having had the opportunity to come. Can’t wait to play. It’s one of the most important places in my career, without a doubt. I try to take advantage of each practice to improve and be competitive from the first round.

My abdominal tear (at Wimbledon), it is a dangerous injury. When you serve, you apply a lot of pressure at the level of the scar. You have to find flexibility. The risk of it breaking is higher when this area is less flexible than before. I didn’t force it in training in Cincinnati. During my match (lost against Borna Coric), I gave the maximum without putting everything on the service level. Here, I do the best I can. With my current tools, I hope to be competitive enough to give myself a chance.

“This is very sad news. Novak is one of the most important players of the last twenty years and the history of this sport. I’m sorry for him”

Rafael Nadal on Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal

Can you train like you normally would to prepare for a Grand Slam?
I pay attention to the level of service, to be honest. But otherwise, I train at high intensity. I’m quite happy with the way I play. We will see when the competition will start. Even though I only played one game, training every day with the guys helps me, no doubt. I’ve been playing sets every day for the past five days. My preparation had been very short before Cincinnati. It wasn’t enough there. I’m coming back here with better preparation. I train quite well. I am satisfied with my sessions.

Your great rival, Novak Djokovic, is absent because, not vaccinated against Covid-19, he could not enter American territory. What do you think of this situation?
Somehow we know that Novak isn’t going to play for a while if the rules don’t change. We’ve known that for months. From a personal point of view, this is very sad news. It’s always a shame when the best players in the world can’t play in a tournament because of injury or something else. One of the best players in history absent from the table of a Grand Slam is a big miss. It’s hard for the fans, for the tournament and, in my opinion, for the players too because we want the best to be there.

Next to that, I repeat: the sport is bigger than any player. I missed a lot of important tournaments in my career because of injuries. I wasn’t there last year or the year before. But the tournament continues. The world of tennis continues to move forward. Tennis won’t stop with Novak, Roger (Federer) and me. Novak is one of the most important players of the last 20 years and in the history of the sport. I feel sorry for him. »

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