More human than ever, Rafael Nadal has revealed unknown aspects of the great champion that he is. This confession came recently during an interview with Bertin Osborne on the program “My house is yours” on the Spanish channel, Telecinco.
At first, the 34-year-old champion spoke of the paradoxical effects of confinement. “The save was good for my knees but my foot was totally destroyed. I spent three horrible months going to Barcelona for treatment. I was going to train for an hour or less, but I couldn’t move. Suffice to say that his 13th success at Roland Garros seemed to him highly improbable.
It is this same foot, victim of a chronic inflammation, which had almost caused the stop of his career. “In 2005, some doctors told me that I could no longer play at high intensity. The solution was given to me by Dr Maceiras and I went to Portland to have custom shoes made so the soles could fit in. If at that point I was told I was going to play until I was 26, I would have signed right away. “
A radical decision
Without make-up, the Spanish champion returned to his terrible pass in 2018. “I had played only nine tournaments, including two where I had to give up along the way. So I had only gone after seven trials, over a whole year! And it was the same in 2019… ”
Injuries that affect Nadal’s morale. Until this day or the Mallorcan takes a radical decision: “I put passion in my training but that day, it was complicated. I ask to talk to Carlos (Moya) and Rafael (Maymo) (Editor’s note: his trainer and his physiotherapist). I told them : Sorry, practice is over. Because I don’t feel it. The following days, we went for a walk in the mountains, we made a few excursions. “
But the machine does not start again. Despite a success in Barcelona, Rafael Nadal is in full doubt: “We didn’t really know whether to stop the season or not, but my entourage and my staff helped me make the most difficult decision: to fight. In the end, it was the right choice since I ended up winning Roland Garros and the US Open, and I finished the year number 1 in the world, only six months after this period. “
“Everything turned out in an unexpected way”
Regarding this Parisian final against Novak Djokovic where he won his 20th Grand Slam title, Rafael Nadal admits: “I played the best match on the day when I needed it most. It is, without a doubt, one of the best finals I have ever played. Conditions were more favorable for Djokovic so he was more favorite than me. Then everything unfolded in an unexpected way. “
The champion also touched on lighter aspects of his life. In particular his marriage in October 2019: “I am not very punctual. On my wedding day, my family had me well. Tired of waiting for me in the past, they made me pay for it that day, ”he said, recounting that they all made him hang around. On his wife, he details: “I have known her since I was very young. Her name is Maria Francisca, but I call her Mery. I only call her Maria Francisca when we argue. But that never happens. She is very calm. “On his desire for fatherhood, Rafa admits:” I adore children. I thought we would have kids when I retired when I turned 30. But my career has lengthened … “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr