Rafael Nadal successfully enters the Masters 1000 in Madrid for his last participation

Rafael Nadal, who is attempting a final return to form at almost 38 years old despite his damaged body, successfully entered the competition on Thursday April 25 at the Masters 1000 in Madrid by dominating the very young American Darwin Blanch, ranked beyond 1000th place world, in two sets, 6-1, 6-0

Rafael Nadal successfully enters the Masters 1000 in Madrid for his last participation

Rafael Nadal, who is attempting a final return to form at almost 38 years old despite his damaged body, successfully entered the competition on Thursday April 25 at the Masters 1000 in Madrid by dominating the very young American Darwin Blanch, ranked beyond 1000th place world, in two sets, 6-1, 6-0.

Nadal was never put in danger by the young 16-year-old American guest, too fragile in the exchange despite considerable power, and won in 64 minutes. As in Barcelona last week, for his return to school after yet another setback and three months of absence, the Spaniard with 22 Grand Slam titles will face in the second round the Australian Alex de Minaur, 11th in the world and a any other caliber.

“I am not going to play in Paris in the state I am in today”

Twenty-four hours earlier, at a pre-tournament press conference, Nadal had explained that, despite his precarious form, it was important to him to “play one last time” in the Spanish capital. “It’s Madrid, there are a lot of things that mix on an emotional level, which lead me to make the decision to play, for personal reasons,” he explained. “If it were Roland-Garros, I wouldn’t play,” he nevertheless considered. I am not going to play in Paris in the state I am in today. »

“I will play in Paris if I feel I am ready enough. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense,” said the Majorcan, whose body has in fact prevented him from playing as he wants since the summer of 2022. After his winning debut on Thursday, “it was correct,” “Rafa” estimated. “It gives me one more opportunity to play here in Madrid and it means a lot to me. »

About his next round against De Minaur, expected on Saturday, “I am happy to enter the court once again, I want to do it as best as possible, I will try to be as competitive as possible” , did he declare. “Certainly it’s going to be very difficult but it’s almost a gift to have a chance to play again” in Madrid, appreciated the Spanish champion.