Nadal Takes U-Turn On Opinion About His Level After Netflix Slam Against Alcaraz

Nadal Takes U-Turn On Opinion About His Level After Netflix Slam Against Alcaraz

by Zachary Wimer

Rafael Nadal sounded pessimistic about his tennis leading up to the 2024 Netflix Slam in Las Vegas, but he changed his mind after the match.

What should we really make of Nadal's comments during his comeback? If we go back to his initial comeback in Australia, Nadal struck a pretty pessimistic tone about his comeback.

He was quite reserved but then when he stepped onto the court, he amazed with his level. After those matches, he struck a more positive tone but then fell back into reserved mode because of the injury that he sustained.

In some sense, it makes sense because he really didn't know what to expect from his comeback. Things could go either way. Now, he did the same thing ahead of the Netflix Slam in Las Vegas.

Nadal described his preparation as very bad, admitting that he didn't play a single set since Australia. That's certainly possible, but then he stepped onto the court and outplayed Carlos Alcaraz in the opening set.

He did slow down as the match went on, but he played really well, much above the expectations he set prior to the match. He even admitted as much after the match, describing his level as "good."

"During the first set I played at a good level. I felt much better than expected."

It's pretty hard to really examine what Nadal says on purpose and what might be a bit misleading. He's careful about his comeback because history taught him that it's the best approach.

On the other side, he's underselling his level by a large margin which is rather interesting. For fans, seeing him compete is the most important thing.

He should be good to go for the Indian Wells Open as well, where it may be even easier to assess his real level. The Netflix Slam was certainly a positive experience and preparation ahead of the season's first ATP Masters 1000 Tournament, even though he was ultimately beaten in three sets.


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