'If' a dangerous word - Why Rafael Nadal refuses to speculate ahead
- Rafael Nadal refused to look ahead after commencing his Roland-Garros 2022 campaign
- He had a straight-set, recor-breaking win over Jordan Thompson
- Nadal played with a foot injury in Rome where he lost to Denis Shapovalov
Rafael Nadal refused to look ahead after commencing his Roland-Garros 2022 campaign on Monday with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Australian Jordan Thompson.
Ten days after losing in the third round to Denis Shapovalov in Rome, the fifth seed began his quest for a record-extending 14th title at the clay-court Major. Following that defeat, Nadal stated that he was playing with a foot injury, sparking suspicion about his Roland-Garros campaign.
On Monday, however, the 35-year-old showed no indications of injury. In the opening round of the French Open, he defeated Thompson for the second time in as many meetings to improve to 18-0.
Rafael Nadal was discreet about his level of confidence and refused to speculate about his injuries in a press conference following his win. He stated, "How is my level of confidence, how the things would be or if I didn't get injured, I don't know. We never know. So I'm not a big fan of thinking about the things that could happen if -- "if" is a dangerous word."
Perhaps wiser words could not be said.
Rafael Nadal stated that he would have felt more confident if he had won one of the preceding clay-court titles before Roland-Garros. However, due to a rib injury received at Indian Wells, he was forced to miss Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
When Nadal returned to action in Madrid, he reached the quarterfinals before falling to eventual winner Carlos Alcaraz. In Rome, he suffered his first Masters 1000 defeat in five years, falling to Shapovalov in the third round.
Despite his less-than-ideal start to his clay-court season, Nadal is ready to give his all in Roland-Garros, saying, "Of course the confidence is higher when you win Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, or Rome. Without a doubt things are easy in this world to understand, no? When you are winning more matches and more tournaments you have better confidence. When this is not the case, things are different. I got injured, and that's it. What happened is past, and here we are. We are in Roland Garros. I am here to try my best."
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal's victory over Thompson broke a tie with Roger Federer (105) for the most match wins by a male player in a single Grand Slam tournament.
The Spaniard is just one match away from winning his 300th Major title.