Rafael Nadal appeared on court at the end of the semifinals of the Australian Open . The Spanish tennis player was pleased to enter the title match in Melbourne after beating Matteo Berrettini and was cautious about his chances of winning what would be the twenty-first Grand Slam of his career, which would make him the best tennis player in the history. However, what Nadal values most is feeling “alive” after a few very hard months in which he didn’t even know if he was going to play tennis again.
“Everything, to be honest. It’s hard for outsiders to believe, but people who have been with me every day for the last six months will understand why it was hard to play at this level. I feel lucky, I have had a great attitude, I feel alive again, with a great spirit . I’m really enjoying it. I don’t have a lot of pressure right now, I’m enjoying every moment and I hope to have an opportunity,” he said, when asked what surprised him the most on his return.
The analysis of Nadal’s match separates the first two sets from the subsequent suffering to which Berrettini subjected him. “I started the match playing well, the first two sets were the best in a long time. I know how good Matteo is, he is very dangerous . In the third, he started to put in his shots, he played an incredible passing down the line. We had to suffer, to fight, it was the only way to get where I am today. It means a lot to me.”
«He made the final at Wimbledon, semis here, he is playing better and better. I wish him the best, he is a good boy”, he completed, about the Italian tennis player, after a match of great respect between the two on the track.
Nadal ended up tired and upset against Shapovalov, but his meteoric recovery was key to being at the top in the semifinals. “To be honest, the day after in the morning I was surprised because I felt much better than I expected. I did some exercise, only 15 minutes on the track and yesterday already an hour and a half. Sometimes two days is too much rest, but it has been good for me. I knew that today I was going to have an important challenge.”
«Everyone knows that I am more of an outdoor player than an indoor player but the stadium is impressive, it is even louder that way. I knew before the game that it was going to be with the roof closed , it doesn’t matter if they covered the track, a month and a half ago I didn’t know if I was going to play tennis again, “he added, regarding the fact of playing the semifinals indoors.
«For me, everything is focused on the Australian Open, nothing else. As I said, years ago I’ve been a bit unlucky with injuries, I’ve had incredible finishes, I won in 2009 and have an option in 2022. I’m going to try to give my best version on Sunday”, concluded Rafa, who does not want to think about the fact to become the tennis player with the most Grand Slam in history if he wins in the final.