'More Unpredictable Than Before': Nadal Details Level Struggles After Hard-Fought Win In Rome

'More Unpredictable Than Before': Nadal Details Level Struggles After Hard-Fought Win In Rome

by Zachary Wimer

Rafael Nadal endured a tough first match at the 2024 Italian Open, noting that his level is more unpredictable than ever.

The match was really like that because, at times, the Spaniard looked impossible to counter, while at other times, his opponent, Zizou Bergs seemingly got whatever he wanted.

Nadal won the match, even though it took him three sets, which might not be ideal. It really depends on the perspective because while Nadal needs matches and tough matches to figure out where he stands, he doesn't really want to push himself too much.

After all, he's not years removed from a major injury, but more so months, and it was a tough rehabilitation process. He's still unsure about his body, which can be observed from the way he talks about expectations.

After this most recent match at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Rome, Nadal talked about his level, admitting that it's more unpredictable than ever.

"That wasn’t my best match. I was practicing better than how I played today, without a doubt. But I found a way to win. That’s so important at the start of a tournament."

Nadal after his Italian Open opener

"My game is more unpredictable than before. I didn’t play much tennis for the last 2 years. Up and down, on and off, but I think I can do much better than how I did today."

An unpredictable level in itself is not an issue as long as he keeps winning. Ultimately, what matters most is winning, and if he keeps winning, then the level fluctuating won't matter too much.

The problem with that will come at Roland Garros. He can't allow fluctuations like this against the best players in the world because he will lose. His participation in the Italian capital can be considered a practice for the major, so Nadal can afford moments like this. They will prepare him for the real test.


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