Makes Sense For Nadal To Play Bastad Before Olympics Says Former World No. 1

Makes Sense For Nadal To Play Bastad Before Olympics Says Former World No. 1

by Nurein Ahmed

Andy Roddick has weighed in on Rafael Nadal's decision to accept a wild card at the 2024 Bastad Open, which will take place two weeks before the Olympic Games begin.

The Olympic tennis tournament will be played at Stade Roland Garros, the same venue where tennis players make the annual pilgrimage to compete in the clay-court Grand Slam.

For Nadal, clay is a surface he has dominated more than any other player. Additionally, his record at the French Open is unmatched. He won 14 titles and 112 matches. But this year, Nadal could not add to those mind-boggling numbers.

In the first round of this year's tournament, he lost to Alexander Zverev in straight sets. Despite the setback, Nadal was pleased with his level and declined to conclusively call it his last Roland Garros appearance.

Recently, the Spaniard was forced to make a big decision about his grass-court ambitions. He chose to skip Wimbledon and wanted to focus on practicing on clay. And he's been doing that progressively at his academy.

Nadal will also play at the ATP 250 event in Bastad in mid-July. It will be his first appearance there since 2005. And Roddick, who defeated the Spaniard three times in 10 meetings during his playing career, reckons it "makes sense" that the 38-year-old is seeking game time before the Olympics.

"I'm sure the organizers of the tournament are super disappointed (sarcastically speaking), and they definitely had Rafa (Nadal) playing Bastad when he was hurt, like in December of last year, on their bingo card."

Roddick, while speaking on Tennis Channel

"This is great and listen you can't just no matter how great you are it's tough to just waltz into the Olympics and play that level of tennis with, you know, a two-month gap in between. So this makes sense as far as tennis, and for the life of me, I never thought we'd see Rafa in Bastad again, but great. Tennis is tennis, this is awesome."

At the same desk, Eugenie Bouchard, a part-time analyst, also shared her thoughts about Nadal's first appearance in Sweden in almost 20 years. The Canadian opined that skipping Wimbledon would make the 22-time Grand Slam champion's transition "smooth."

"I definitely agree with that. Good for him on going to play Bastad. I do think that with the transition after Wimbledon after the grass will be tricky for his body, but he loves the clay. So I feel like that transition can actually be smooth for him. "


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