Rafa Nadal: “I work hard to have my body ready and be competitive”

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Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return to Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during their US Open Tennis Championships men's semifinal round match at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 08 September 2017. EFE

Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal, current number 2 in the ATP ranking, has assured that he is working “hard” to be competitive on his return to the professional circuit, in August in Cincinnati or in the US Open, except for new cancellations.

“I am delighted to be able to return to normality. It is time to be responsible and do my best. I am working hard to try to have my body ready and to be competitive,” he said from his academy at an event organized by KIA.

On the other hand, when asked by fans on the networks, he denied having a favorite rival “My favorite rival is who I win. I like challenges, playing against Roger has always been a great challenge, also Nole, Andy, or David Ferrer” he pointed out.

“I have had and have great opponents, each one is a different challenge and you have to adapt your game, be competitive to win. I don’t have a favorite rival, I enjoy every day and every rival, and I adapt,” he added.

As for what inspired him to play, he assured tennis in general and aided by his uncle Toni Nadal. “It was personal. Since I was a child, I had my uncle who was my coach and he gave me this passion for sports. He told me about the history of tennis. I have been passionate about sports in general, but I’ve been playing tennis since I was 3 years old There is no one in particular who inspired me, it was tennis itself, “he added.

Nadal, in a publicity event with KIA to celebrate the renewal of its sponsorship agreement for another five years, celebrated having that strong support. “I started my tennis career with KIA and it is nice and good to know that I will probably end my career with KIA. Thank you very much for the support, I hope we can continue to grow together,” he said.

And from that career he chose three moments, although he ended up making a ‘Top 5’. “Difficult. But it would be Roland Garros 2005, Wimbledon 2008 and US Open 2013. And of course Australia 2009, but you only give me three options. And maybe Davis 2004, it was very special,” he said.

After the virtual signing of the agreement with KIA, with the boss of the car factory greeting Nadal from Seoul (South Korea), and after the questionnaire, Nadal trained at the facilities of his Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar.

A training session, the second of the day and below 35 degrees in Manacor, led by the fans, who chose which five exercises to do, alone or helped by their coach, the extenista Carlos Moyà.

In the serve challenge he threw 12 cans of balls out of 15 possible, exchanged blows with Carlos Moyà, but turned on himself after each hit, then picked up high balls thrown by Moyà with the racket, ‘killing the ball’, and finally He played against himself, going from side to side of the track with balloons to get to finish after a single boat on each side.

To finish the act, he did tricks with the ball and returned some shots from behind, passing the ball between the legs or turning, then taking a racket in each hand and returning two balls at once or one after another. A “demanding and fun” training for Nadal, who could already have a tournament in late August if he decides to go to Cincinnati.

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