When Rafael Nadal played PS for the first time in three years

When Rafael Nadal played PS for the first time in three years

Rafael Nadal had to endure a tough two weeks during the 2020 Roland Garros, respecting health measures and bubbling like the rest of the field. Nadal shared the living space with his coach Carlos Moya and physical therapist Rafael Maymo and had to find a way to spend the day without playing PlayStation games and serials.

Nadal said it was not easy for him to stay locked up with two people for a whole day. Still, his efforts paid off after he won his 13th Roland Garros crown and 20th Major! Outside the bubble, Nadal has had to endure difficult times on court, competing on clay in cold and rainy weather, with the new Wilson balls and a roof over Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Nadal’s rivals were hoping for an upset in these tough conditions. Still, the king of clay had other plans to win the title without losing a set and write the record books. Aged 34, Nadal secured his 13th title from 16 trips to Paris, dominating the rest of the field and defending his kingdom for another season.

Nadal edged out Egor Gerasimov in the first round, losing serve once and delivering five breaks for a strong start. Mackenzie McDonald, Stefano Travaglia and Sebastian Korda didn’t stand a chance against the Spaniard. Nadal lost 13 games in nine sets and got broken once to sail into the last eight after a favorable draw.

Rafael Nadal had to find a way to endure the bubble in Paris last year.

With momentum and a good feeling on the court, Nadal had to work harder in the following two encounters. He battled Jannik Sinner and Diego Schwartzman for six hours in the quarterfinals and semifinals, surviving a challenging set each to advance to the 13th Roland Garros final.

The stage was set for a memorable duel against Novak Djokovic. Nadal prepared the right game plan with his team and turned the conditions in his favor. He produced aggressive tennis under a roof over Court Philippe-Chatrier to overthrow Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes.

The Spaniard stormed over the Serb in the first two sets and built a massive advantage in an hour and a half. Rafa stole Novak’s serve in the closing stages of the third set to seal the deal and secure one of the most important titles of his career.

“I found it more difficult than Carlos Moya and Rafael Maymo; I’m a person who prefers to be around people more. Carlos could always get alone, like Rafa. It’s a bit more difficult for me. The days seemed longer to be me than them, but we rediscovered things we had forgotten.

It had been three years since I’d picked up a PlayStation controller and we played a lot together. We also read the latest news and watched different series to kill time,” said Rafael Nadal.

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