1709455349 Netflix Slam 2024 Nadal and the hard process of acceptance

Netflix Slam 2024: Nadal and the hard process of acceptance: “Even if you try to forget the bad, it always stays in the corner” | Tennis | Sports

Netflix Slam 2024 Nadal and the hard process of acceptance

-How old are you?

– twenty.

– Phew! At that age I didn't even know what he said…

During the 21 minutes that the exhibition lasts for a selection of Spanish media invited by Netflix to Las Vegas, Rafael Nadal, dressed in dark from head to toe, carries out the intervention with a paternalistic air, as if the 17-year gap, who distanced him, who carried out intervention by Carlos Alcaraz were even higher at 37 and 20 respectively. “He has youthfulness, energy, passion and self-confidence, which helps him face things without fear. When you start everything is new and you've experienced some bad things, but as the years go by you keep reliving them. “Even if you try to forget them, you always have them in the corner,” says the 22-year-old, who maintains his tic despite the slow inactivity and tries to relax his neck muscles with sudden convulsive movements from left to right when he would just be finished. Play a game The Mallorcan speaks from the perspective of his legend and his anthracite successor doesn't lose the details with every word. “Rafa is always pushing himself, I won't deceive you!”, replies the Murcian with a laugh and adds: “I often saw Rafa on TV, I grew up watching him play.” Although it was little, mine was Experience with him incredible. I would have liked to have spent more time together, but I try to enjoy every time I meet him.”

This Sunday, the exhibition created by the platform (9:30 p.m., streaming) brings them together for the fourth time and many will think that it may be the last time. The clock ticks inexorably and exhausts Nadal's life as an athlete, who expresses himself seriously, with a narrow face, strong hands, occasional wrinkles on his face and a tone that exudes the scent of suffering, even if it re-emerges after another two months in dry dock and Unless his plans go awry again, he will compete next week in Indian Wells, one of the venues he wants to say goodbye to in an intimate way.

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“Well, I don't know how I feel,” he replies to the journalist, who is worried about his physical condition. “To be completely honest, because at this point I have no choice but to be honest and I can’t hide anything, I’ve been here since Brisbane [donde se lesionó, el 5 de enero frente a Jordan Thompson] without playing a set. I've had better and worse moments. But for me the most important thing is not how I am, but where I am and am here. That's already good news. Two weeks ago my goal was to play the game in Las Vegas and Indian Wells and I'm getting closer to that goal. I have taken the appropriate steps to try and enter the tournament [en el que debuta el jueves]. At what level? It’s the least important thing,” he continues; “The important thing is to be able to spend a few days there with professionals and to be able to play the game with Carlos beforehand, that makes me excited. I will try to do my best even though I know the preparation was poor. For me, the priority is to play in Indian Wells and try to get out of there unscathed; From there, whatever's left is on the dirt tour. It might or might not be the last one, I don't know; I haven’t decided 100% yet, but that’s how it’s going at the moment.”

Nadal continues to ponder and, above all, accepts, because fate shows him a door that is difficult for a champion of his size to overcome. He has never given up and does not do so at the moment in this farewell that is getting closer and closer and continues to take him through dark spaces every time he wants to return and have a minimum of continuity, impossible until now. With just three games under his belt, the chassis slowed him down before the Australian Open and every break it imposes on him means an acceleration towards the end point, even if he doesn't give up. Nadal wants, aware like no other of his situation and the hardship he experienced on this last flight forward. Rebellion in speech, at the same time common sense.

Veterans and Accusations

“Firstly, I'm not saying goodbye because if I did I would say I'm not playing anymore. I don't want to say it yet because I'm not 100% sure, but it is true that the reality is what it is and it says that I have been able to play very little in the last two years. Life shows you the way. I didn't imagine my departure [estando de baja] Because the more you start to imagine something, the closer you are to it. Everyone wants to have a good time, play, be competitive and have fun on the court. Whether it can be or not? We will see. The months and weeks show me a path that becomes complicated. It is a process of acceptance that is not easy to overcome and I try to accept it. I couldn't go to Doha [donde había planificado en la recta final de febrero]but here we are now.”

The Spaniard emphasizes that he is not thinking about Roland Garros or gravel tours today, although he would also like to say goodbye to Monte Carlo at the beginning of April. In any case, he still feels that the Principality is a distant goal because he has lost the rhythm he learned in the previous season and every appearance on the pitch is accompanied by questions and an unpleasant insecurity that he cannot get rid of. “It was hard not playing at the Australian Open, but inside I knew it was pointless to think about anything important there; Not because of the tennis, but because of the physical level, because I hadn't competed in a year. It was a step backwards because I had to stop again. I played tennis well and when you get old, your body is no longer prepared by breaks. If you play regularly, you get used to the rhythm and the stress. I can't play week after week, but if I do it every two or three weeks, it can handle the stress of stopping. Now there’s an increased risk of injury because the body isn’t adapting properly and that’s honestly the worst thing about Brisbane because the feeling was good.”

Own story

Conversely, Alcaraz sees a successful professional future ahead of him. The boy assures that the recovery of the ankle he injured on February 20 in Rio de Janeiro is on the right track and that the drought does not worry him too much because if he keeps the line he has confidence in it that success would return. He hasn't lifted a trophy since Wimbledon in July, but he's sticking with the process. “People think it's bad when you don't win titles and it's not like that. It may be that we need to improve from the US Open and not lower the level and concentration from there, but we have already discussed this internally. And I started this year with good feelings, in Australia I played good tennis and in Buenos Aires it wasn't the best feeling, but I think it was good too; Then something unexpected happened in Rio. I don't think it's about failure or frustration with what I've done, I just have to learn,” explains Alcaraz, whose answers logically lack the insights that Nadal conveyed in the conversation.

It is the first time that they have posed together in the same room and there is a good atmosphere, but also mutual ignorance. They have hardly shared time and space, although the one from El Palmar has already received the blessing. “Unfortunately I have only been at the race track very little since he arrived. I couldn't make a living out of it in everyday life and vice versa. Carlos is a breath of fresh air in tennis, a special player, one of the most complete I've ever seen for his age and with a wonderful physique. “He is where he deserves to be, and on top of that he works hard,” said the tennis player from Manacor, who lost today in qualifying in the Catacombs at number 654 in the rankings. The Murcian takes the second step and increasingly distances himself from comparison and tries to write his own story.

“With what I've done and the tournaments I've won, I feel like I'm forging my own path. “I try not to pay attention to the comparisons with Rafa because he is a unique player and you cannot be compared with one of the greatest in the history of our sport,” he decides, before describing the giant as “probably a teammate.” denotes a rival,” to which Nadal responds with melancholy and the wounded pride of the warrior that hastens the final steps: “I want to be a rival… There is still a season ahead of us, and I hope I can do more than just a rival “a partner…”. A historic crossroads in Las Vegas.

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