Nadal renounces Rome and focuses on Paris | Sports

Nadal, during a match in the last edition of Wimbledon.
Nadal, during a match in the last edition of Wimbledon.GLYN KIRK (AFP)

Faced with the rush from abroad, the fans eager to see him again on a track, Rafael Nadal continues to opt for prudence. The 36-year-old tennis player from Manacor announced this Friday that he will not compete in the Masters 1000 in Rome, which begins next week, since he is still not in optimal condition to perform at the highest level. His absence, then, continues to expand and on the 18th it will be four months since he injured his iliopsoas and the period of leave began.

“I am very sorry to announce that I will not be able to be in Rome. You all know how much it hurts me to miss another one of the tournaments that have marked my professional and personal career for all the love and support of the typhosi Italians”, he transmitted through a message issued in the middle of the afternoon; “Despite having noticed an improvement in recent days, there have been many months without having been able to train at a high level and the readaptation process has its times, so I have no choice but to accept them and continue working.”

Since he first competed at the Foro Italico, in 2005, Nadal had never missed the Italian event. Champion on 10 occasions, he will not be able to parade on this occasion and, therefore, the unknown remains regarding his participation in Roland Garros. The great Frenchman will start on May 28 and the champion of 22 greats is confident that he will arrive on time, since the response of his body is favourable. Recently, his coach, Carlos Moyà, commented in Madrid that the tennis player continues to complete hour and a half work sessions at his academy; however, he prefers not to risk.

Nadal has not been able to participate in any of the tournaments that serve as a shuttle to the Bois de Boulogne. He resigned from Monte Carlo, also from Barcelona and regretted his dismissal for the Caja Mágica; Rome is now erased, so this season’s activity is reduced to the four games played in January, when they went through the United Cup (2) and then the Australian Open, where they lost in the second round –against the American Mackenzie McDonald’s– after beating out Jack Draper at the premiere.

On his way to turning 37, which he will celebrate on June 3, the Spaniard currently occupies 14th place on the ATP list -for the first time since 2005- and faces a difficult challenge: defending his kingdom without first going through none of the preparatory tournaments. That is to say, an unusual situation.

This Friday’s announcement banished the speculation of the last days and was a jug of cold water for the Madrid stands, which this Saturday (6:30 p.m., Teledeporte) will witness the women’s final between the two best current players: the number one, Iga Swiatek, and the two, Aryna Sabalenka. The Pole dominates the record 5-3, while the Belarusian puts last year’s conquest on the table.

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