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Rafael Nadal in a ‘good moment’ as he prepares for a fairytale farewell at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal in a ‘good moment’ as he prepares for a fairytale farewell at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal claims he is in a ‘good moment’ as preparations appear to be underway for his final farewell at the French Open.

The Spaniard is in Rome for his final appearance at the Italian Open, a tournament that has become synonymous with his success in recent times.

Nadal will face Zizou Bergs in the first round on Thursday and has given positive updates on his physical condition ahead of the match after playing six matches in the second half of April.

“It’s almost my third week in a row on tour now, so it’s a good time,” said the 37-year-old. “Even though the results are not what they used to be, I am raising my feelings (and) my level.”

Nadal pointed to his physical fitness as the main reason for his retirement, rather than the quality of tennis he plays or his enjoyment of the court.

“I’m happy with what I’m doing,” said the 22-time major champion. “When I talk about retirement, it’s not because I’m not happy playing tennis anymore or because I don’t feel competitive enough – that’s not the case.

“The point is that my body couldn’t play for weeks at a time, so I could practice every day and enjoy it. If you can’t do things the right way every day, can’t enjoy yourself because of the pain and the injuries, it’s almost impossible to be successful or keep fighting for the things that really motivate me. No?”

Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open

Nadal’s comments put him in a good position to play clinical tennis in the Italian capital this week, offering positivity ahead of a busy summer.

The Spaniard has won the Rome title 10 times, with his most recent coming in 2021 with an emphatic three-set victory over Novak Djokovic.

Nadal has an astonishing 90% winning record at the tournament and has only ever been beaten by six different men at the Foro Italico.

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