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Nadal and endless trials: falls on his foot and says goodbye to Rome

Latest NewsNadal and endless trials: falls on his foot and says goodbye to Rome

Sitting on a bench, Rafael Nadal looks down at the ground, leaning on his knees and resigned to the old evil that comes back to punish him and does not leave him. Another leg, damn leg. That old demon. The pain returned and hand in hand with anxiety, questions, doubts. The most unwanted tick-tock. With just over a week left before the start of Roland Garros, the 21-time champion will again face the time trial. In this case, the defeat from Denis Shapovalov in the 1/8 finals in Rome means little (1-6, 7-5 and 6-2, in 2 hours and 36 minutes). Foro Italico falls silent and covers the Spaniard, who has recently been reunited with his worst enemy.

In March, this rib stopped him for a month and a half, and now, at the gates of the landing in Paris, his Eden, his leg threatens. “It always hurts. It’s part of my daily routine, especially when I play long games. I have a chronic and incurable injury, ”he recalled last week in Madrid, when there was already a strange warning. “I’m not injured, I’m a player who lives with an injury,” he explained this Thursday night at Foro Italico. “This is my day to day. It’s hard, really… and sometimes it’s hard for me to accept it. I was in a lot of pain,” continued the man from Manacor, who managed to control the damage at the crossroads against John Isner the day before. Not against Shapovalov.

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And that everything began to ask in the mouth, correcting the bad start of the previous day; dictating and giving orders in front of a young Canadian, the last left-hander who managed to defeat him. That was five years ago in Montreal; since then, 23 victories in a row over rivals of the same profile, one after another, along the chain. Everything went from a fable, until the adversary put another gear, rebelled and hardened his pulse. A talented blonde substitute from the serve, who already gave him a headache last year – two match points in the 1/8 finals – and this year in Australia – a heat stroke, and from 2:0 to the fifth set, to the physical limit – stand up.

Shapovalov (23 years old, world No. 16) scored 16 of his last 19 points at stake when Nadal had already chosen to completely contain himself and avoid greater evils, remembering the old ghosts. A little over a year ago at Roland Garros, he was again scored by a leg and deprived of the rest of the season. No Wimbledon, no Tokyo games, no US Open, no Masters Cup. He underwent a “slightly aggressive treatment” in Barcelona in September and under the supervision of Dr. Ángel Ruiz Cotorro managed to return and perform at the highest level. Then in Indian Wells there was an accident with a rib, and in Rome the test of the foot was repeated again. Another dry stop.

Explicit lameness

Shapovalov gives no respite or respite, the bewildering tennis player who comes and goes, multifaceted, with a sly profile; as soon as he produces something great or makes the most ridiculous mistake, he inflates as he deflates, constantly rising and falling throughout all matches. This is a coin toss. In any case, the Canadian, – quotes Kasper Ruud, – demands to be constantly on the alert and does not allow himself to relax his vigilance even for a second. Nadal did it a couple of times – an unrestrained start of the second set and almost fell on his feet in the resolution of that sleeve – and paid dearly. Everything started smoothly, but it turned out badly. Again, blessed scaphoid.

“No, it was not in any movement. He’s there all the time,” said the number four, who will arrive at the Bois de Boulogne in an unprecedented situation without having played a single final of the three Masters 1000s on clay, in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome. “Sometimes it hurts more, sometimes less. Today was crazy. I would like to talk about tennis, but that’s what it is. Let’s see what happens in the next two days or this week. since i got back [en enero, tras más de medio año en la reserva] it was hard. It’s hard to be able to train well for several days in a row, sometimes I can’t do it,” he explained.

The Balearic showed some discomfort in a couple of supports, but in that last game, when the breaks were traded and he managed to cut the gap at the beginning of the sleeve, from 0-3 to 4-4, he definitely suffered a leg injury and the scene changed completely. This became very ugly for him, and he tried to hide this gesture and continued to clench his teeth, but in the end he could not help it. The lameness was obvious. After the race, he paused for the first time, and the next time he had no choice but to brake and lean on the support, in a break of three to four seconds, which seemed like a thousand. He no longer played in Rome. Reason was in Paris.

“The worst thing is that I played better”

Ever since the game broke down, he’s dedicated himself to dosing and maintaining type, exemplary behavior, and resigned himself to his fate. Despite the kick, he didn’t give up. He didn’t leave. The Roman tribunes thanked him for his efforts, but the last stretch ended in a sad outcome that lit the alarm before Roland Garros. Great french begins after 10 days and the endemic disease of the scaphoid reappears. This is the hundredth time Nadal is against time, waiting for hours and pain. Until now, he had controlled him, but at Caja Magica he knocked on the door a couple of times. He does so in Rome with greater force, and the immediate future becomes unknown.

“The worst thing is that on a playing level, I felt better. I started a lot better, I warmed up a lot better, I trained a lot better than the other day [contra Isner]. This upsets me. When such problems appear, everything else, positive, disappears, right? I can’t say more. now i have to go back [a España] and treat me Maybe in a couple of days things will get better. I don’t know whether to rest or train, but I have a goal in front of me, and I want to continue dreaming about it. The doctor is next to me in Paris, and it always helps, ”concluded Nadal.

Badosa will fall against Kasatkina

alternating current | Madrid

Paula Badosa lost this Thursday to Daria Kasatkina (double 6-4, in 1 hour 46 minutes) and said goodbye to the Roman tournament in the 1/8 finals already at dawn. The 24-year-old Catalan faced the most inspirational version of the Russian, a shrewd player who set the pace and dominated draws. Thus, it ended with the women’s representation of Spain at Foro Italico.

Quarter-finals: Sabalenko-Anisimova (11:00), Svyatek-Andreescu (14:30), Zhaber-Sakkari (16:00), Kasatkina-Teichmann (19:00). In the men’s draw, the pairs were distributed as follows: Garin-Zverev (11:00), Sinner-Tsitsipas (12:30), Shapovalov-Ruud (14:00) and Djokovic-Aliassime (20:30).

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