'3 Weeks Ago I Was Losing To Every Kid At My Academy': Nadal Acknowledges Madrid Improvement

'3 Weeks Ago I Was Losing To Every Kid At My Academy': Nadal Acknowledges Madrid Improvement

by Nurein Ahmed

Rafael Nadal recently admitted that he's made huge strides in terms of his game from three weeks ago when he apparently lost to every aspiring player at his own academy.

The Spaniard reached the fourth-round stage of the Madrid Open for the 18th time with a hard-fought three-set win over Argentina's Pedro Cachin. It is the first time Nadal has won three matches in a row since the 2022 US Open.

Also, the last time he won three in a row on clay was when he lifted the 2022 French Open. Although talk of Nadal potentially adding to his record five titles in Madrid is almost non-existent for now, the 37-year-old is pleased with the way his body and his game have developed in the space of one month.

Speaking after beating Cachin, Nadal told reporters that he was delighted to be back on the tour competing and winning matches against fellow pros. It was a stark contrast to a few weeks ago when he lost to his students at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca.

"Three weeks ago I was losing to every kid at my academy. And now I’m competing again against the players from the ATP circuit and winning matches."

Nadal will meet young Czech gun Jiri Lehecka in round 16. Although he was afforded a day of rest between matches in the first week, the 14-time Roland Garros champion won't have that luxury before his match against Lehecka, which is scheduled for Tuesday.

Nadal has never played Lehecka before at any level but stated that he would be surprised to win the match, as reported by Portuguese journalist Jose Morgado. The Spanish lefty is clearly assessing his chances, with his health being the determining factor.

It is the longest time he has stayed in a tournament this year. He improves to 6-2 for the season with his win over Cachin and looks to reach the last eight in Madrid for the 10th time in a row.


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