199 days after his last game, Rafael Nadal returns to competition in one of his favorite tournaments. He Rome Masters 1000 It will be the first litmus test for the Spanish tennis player in his preparation for the main objective of the season, which is none other than Roland Garros. Rafa will only participate in the Foro Italico as a previous tournament, but historically his prolonged stops, although they were caused by injuries, did not always produce results in the form of a title.

Nadal only managed to lift the title in one of his returns to competition, after weeks of absence. It was in 2018, when an injury to the iliac psoas forced him to withdraw from the Australian Open – in the quarterfinals against Cilic – and would leave him in the dry dock for more than two months, missing Indian Wells and Miami. However, Rafa reappeared for the Davis Cup tie, still under the old format, against Germany, and solved his two commitments with victory, before restarting his career on the ATP circuit with a brilliant triumph at the Monte Carlo Masters 1000, which would be succeeded by a new winch at the Godó.

However, Nadal’s returns were not always so successful, although on several occasions he did achieve merit results even without reaching the title. Both in 2005 and 2008, Rafa added weeks of forced break due to injury and although he did not achieve a championship the first time, yes he could be crowned in his second championship at stake, showing that your preparation, with patience, can yield the best results in a short period of time.

In the rest of Nadal’s prolonged absences, always within the extreme demand that his excellence obliges, it cost him much more to lift a title. Sometimes, he even had to overcome ten tournaments to win againThe circuit, despite the proven quality of Nadal, has for years had an extraordinary level and two historical ones like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, against whom having a rhythm of play is presumed essential to be able to win.

This competitive pace is Nadal’s main doubt about his assault on the Masters 1000 in Rome, as he himself confirmed in the previous days. «I have been training very hard for many weeks, but I don’t have the rhythm of the competition, which will give me the passage of the matches. I must be patient, keep calm and, above all, emotions and look for the lost automatisms, ”acknowledged Rafa, who has two advantages that differentiate his situation from the previous stoppages that he was forced to undertake.

Nadal’s advantages in Rome

First, Rafa is in full physical condition and has been, in terms of injuries, during the last six months without competitive benchmark. The coronavirus forced the circuit to stop and his rivals could not play either, but also, the return on the American tour and the US Open, and the consequent resignation of Nadal, have allowed the Manacorense preparing for a month on clay courts, and he will arrive prepared to storm a title in Rome on his favorite surface and on a stage in which he has already been crowned up to nine times.