Subscribe to our newsletter

Nadal “happy and excited” despite Alcaraz defeat in Madrid

The 35-year-old is hoping to peak at Roland-Garros, where he will be chasing a record 14th title

Nadal and Alcaraz handshake Madrid Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

Rafael Nadal says he’s happy and excited about his prospects over the coming weeks despite his quarter-final defeat to Carlos Alcaraz at the Madrid Masters on Friday.

The 35-year-old suffered just his second loss of the year as he was beaten in three sets by the 19-year-old Spaniard but having come into the event with very little preparation after a month off court due to a fractured rib, Nadal said he was looking forward to the next few weeks as he prepares to hit full throttle come Roland-Garros.

“I have done what I could,” he said. “I have had better days, worse days. But it has not been a disaster in any case. I think that I have competed with the correct attitude. I have played two, two-and-a-half hours, nearly three, I think three matches, this is a positive outcome.

Rafael Nadal Madrid 2022
AI / Reuters / Panoramic

“From here onwards, just looking forward with optimism and happy with and excited. We will see what happens, but at the end, things, so that they can work properly, you have to believe. You have to give yourself opportunities.”

Nadal will be bidding for a record 14th Roland-Garros title later this month and will play next week’s Rome Masters. The return to sea level, he hopes, will inspire him to retain the title he won 12 months ago.

“I came here (to Madrid) knowing that this is the toughest tournament, because here the ball flies much more,” he said. “When they return the ball, you have to be much faster with your legs than in other places, because if you don’t position yourself properly behind the ball, the unforced error comes easily and it’s easier to lose the confidence here than in a court at sea level.

“The reading of the tournament is I have played three matches and that I came here with hardly any preparation, with no preparation. This is the reality. I said it before coming here it was going to be a tough week, even though I have lost to one of the fittest players of the world with no doubts, you know, I even had my (chances) because I think it was the 1-1 of the third set I managed to do a parallel ball when I was at the net, and it was a key moment.

“I think that I was out there with the correct attitude and analysing every single morning what I had to do to generate options for myself and to improve. After that, I was not able to do it as what I needed today, but I have the clear vision on the things that I have to improve. Now is the moment to work and to be confident that things will evolve in the right way.”

Your comments

One response to “Nadal “happy and excited” despite Alcaraz defeat in Madrid

  1. Nadal has more grace and for loosing so ?
    He will come to Rome stronger.
    His comments are so insightful.
    He is always a genius. And a great person.
    Rafa is the best.

Your email address will not be published.