Nadal stops the clock | Canary Islands7

Rafa Nadal celebrates the victory against Djokovic. / Afp

The Spaniard is reluctant to say goodbye and will play a few more semifinals at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal has delved into pessimism about his physical condition in recent months. In the year of the best start of his sports career, with 20 wins in a row and with a Grand Slam already conquered, the Spaniard does nothing but warn that the end is getting closer, that his body is having problems recovering from the efforts and that chronic foot injury has no cure. His pessimism has translated into painful images, such as the view in Rome, when he limped off the court in an early loss in the round of 16, and caution when facing Roland Garros, the tournament that has seen him rise the most times. as champion.

This concern is not diminished even by getting one of the best wins of the last year, the one that acts as a way of revenge after what happened here in the semifinals last year. It is as if time had stopped when the calendar marked the stop in Paris, as if his body had given him a break in the French capital. A physical respite only, because in her head, Nadal still does not trust that everything will go well.

"I don't know what will happen after this tournament," explained the Spaniard after defeating Djokovic. “I am very clear about this. I don't have to hide anything at my age. I have what I have in my foot and if we don't find a solution it's difficult for me. At the moment we have not found a solution », he added.

Nadal postpones the last dance

The problem in the left foot is a continuous murmur in Nadal's head, which he tries to scare away with victories. At the moment, he has five at this Roland Garros, 111 in the tournament total. In his last two games he has accumulated almost nine hours on the court and the good news is that the physical disorders have not appeared, at least apparently. He warned that it may be his last Roland Garros, but he may still have two games left. On his 36th birthday, he will play his 15th semi-final in Paris, of which he has only lost one, last year against Djokovic.

"I know I haven't won anything so far. I have only managed to win in the quarterfinals and create an opportunity to be in the semifinals. It has been a very nice night and the goal is to maintain the level of tennis that I have had today, ”assimilated the Spaniard, also praised by his victim in Belgrade.

Next station, Zverev

"Nadal played better than me in important moments," said Djokovic, who was not surprised by the Spaniard's ability to recover.

«He is capable of, a few days after being injured and barely able to walk, return to 100% physically. He has done it many times in his career », clarified the number one in the world.

Nadal's next rival will be very different from Djokovic. It will be an Alexander Zverev who eliminated Carlos Alcaraz and who disputes his second semifinals at Roland Garros and fifth in the total of the Grand Slams. The German has only defeated Nadal on clay once and it was on the least clay of all, that of Madrid in 2021. The other four clashes on clay fell on the side of the man from Manacor, who beat him for the last time in the semi-finals in Rome last year.

Zverev, now number three in the world, is pursuing the Grand Slams denied to his generation, due to the resistance to falling from the 'Big Three' and the now greater threat of the new batch led by Alcaraz. The one from Hamburg, yes, has a very poor record against 'top ten' in Grand Slam. Alcaraz has been the first ranked among the top ten in the world that he has managed to defeat in a tournament of this substance. The other eleven meetings he has lost, including three with Djokovic and one with Nadal. It will be the first time that he has seen himself in a Major with the Spaniard since the third round of Australia 2017.

The meeting this time will move away from the night session and will be played on Friday not before 2:30 p.m. Spanish time.

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