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Nadal and the discovery of a new life

2022-09-25T10:42:10.312Z

Federer's departure and a difficult personal situation reveal the most vulnerable champion, faced with a different professional scenario and the vital transition



For a mere matter of courtesy with the tournament, Rafael Nadal avoided confirming that he was leaving the Laver Cup during the talk in

petit committee

with the journalists despite the fact that when he went back to the locker room his subconscious was already pushing him directly towards the plane back to Manacor.

"I have to go back to the room and think about it, because I have a pretty important internal conflict... I guess when all these moments of emotion are over, I'll see what I should do," he said after the moving farewell to his friend Roger Federer and stringing together a of the most skin-deep utterances that are remembered, if not the most.

Simply, the Balearic undressed.

“I'm not fine, I'm not fine…”, he acknowledged when asked about his situation, because the emotional ups and downs of a season as successful as it was painful has been followed by a setback of a personal nature that has taken its toll on him recently.

The 36-year-old athlete confirmed on June 17 that he and his wife were expecting their first child – “if all goes well, I will be a father”, he stated during a press conference in Santa Ponça–;

however, a pregnancy complication has kept him on edge and has upset him to the point that tennis has taken a backseat and his life has turned in the blink of an eye.

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Day 1 after Roger Federer

For more than a month, Nadal is but he is not.

He neither trains as he would like nor did he get off the phone when at the end of August he traveled to New York to compete in the US Open, where he lost in the round of 16 and paraded with an absent countenance.

They have been days of great concern, stress and restlessness.

If at the beginning of the year and during the spring he already looked thin, the short distance says that he has lost some weight.

"These have been difficult weeks," he admitted.

“From few hours of sleep, with a little stress in general [due to a setback in his wife's pregnancy] and more complicated situations than usual at home.

I have had to deal with all that a little bit, with a kind of pressure that is a little different from what you are used to professionally, but luckily everything is fine and we are calmer.

I was able to come here, which is the most important thing”, he expanded as he could because in a few moments the lump that had formed in his throat tightened more and more;

“I am a very sensitive person and sometimes it is good to cry.

You need to let go of these emotions”, he expanded before making a key reference in this delicate present: “Somehow, a part of my life is also gone and it is difficult”.

into the unpredictable

That is to say, Nadal has come together with everything.

He leaves one door closing and another opening.

Gone are the killer kid, the sparkling 20-something, and the budding 30-something, and ahead is a new reality that includes Federer's departure, a very different professional scenario, and the debut of fatherhood.

A sudden life change.

To the march of the genius, an essential element in the story of his career and companion in his adventures, joins the personal circumstance.

His great partner says goodbye, his sport turns the page towards a new stage —in which the new batch is already hitting— and the familiar scenario on which he had traveled until now has become the terrain of uncertainty that it means vital evolution.

“I would like to return to normality during the next month and that everything goes well.

Organize my life in the right way to have a little bit of normalcy in every way, both personally and professionally.

From there, start over, ”says the Majorcan, a very affectionate and emotionally more permeable man than he seems.

Somehow, the competitive façade and granite mentality he possesses when he's on the court distorts the essence of a currently vulnerable champion.

Nadal, during the match with Federer. DPA via Europa Press (DPA via Europa Press)

For years, Nadal has been used to controlling almost everything, except for injuries, and now he feels that he is somehow taking a leap into new and unpredictable territory to explore.

The ghosts of the new tomorrow.

As much as he is well aware that his sports cycle has entered the last phase, the succession of events of a season on the edge has not given him respite until now, and he cries out for a break that does not come.

“I was close to retiring this year.

I thought that Roland Garros could be my last tournament and since then everything has gone very wrong in physical matters.

It has been a disaster”, he replies to this newspaper when asked how he imagines his goodbye to tennis, which he contemplated during the spring, but not now: “I don't know, I'm not at that moment yet”.

“A part of me is also leaving”

Beyond what he could foresee or imagine, the setback with the pregnancy and the goodbye to Federer show without lukewarmness what is to come;

that is, the father Nadal, the professional who heads the final straight after 21 years of travel.

Something that the Swiss previously experienced, although in his case the children arrived earlier (at 28) and the goodbye came after two and a half years without hardly playing (20 games since January 2020), and after three steps through the operating room

In this last sense, the case of the Spaniard is much more paradoxical, because the scourge of injuries has not diminished his ability to continue triumphing one iota.

“I know Roger has been through a lot of tough times lately,” he noted backstage.

"I haven't retired yet, but I know that when you've been injured for a while and you don't see the end, it's frustrating," he added.

"With his withdrawal, a part of me also leaves," he lamented half an hour earlier in English.

"In the end we have many similar things, we probably face life in a similar way," Nadal settled, hoping to finally find some peace.

END OF COURSE BETWEEN QUESTIONS

Despite the fact that the Laver Cup had two days to go, Nadal opted to return home early yesterday.

The effort of having attended the event at the O2 in London responds solely and exclusively to the fact that the honoree was Federer.

“For me it was important to be here, because I knew how important it was for him.

I have had a fairly close personal relationship for a long time and we talk regularly”, explained the Mallorcan, who on this last trip has been accompanied by his circle of trust despite being an express trip, a round trip in a margin of 48 hours.



Now, the tennis player will concentrate on his personal matters and only once they are resolved will he consider what to do between now and the end of the course.

Initially, Nadal planned to participate in the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000 (from October 31 to October 6) and later (from November 13 to 20) in the Turin Masters Cup, for which he qualified during the US Open.


In addition, the current number three in the world is planning to attend a series of exhibitions in South America.

If he maintains the idea, on November 25 he will face Alejandro Tabilo in Santiago de Chile and on November 27 he will play against the Norwegian Casper Ruud in Quito (Ecuador).

The roadmap also includes stops in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia, although everything is up in the air.


Three years ago it was Federer who traveled to Latin America to parade through countries such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Ecuador.

"I'm healthy and life goes on, everything is great," said the man from Basel on Friday evening, the date of his farewell.

"This is not the end completely, I'm happy."

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Source: elparis

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