Rafael Nadal has changed his not-so-sweet tune about this week’s Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open. After complaining about the court surface, the schedule and the general disorder around the tournament a few days ago, Nadal is now heaping on the praise, saying stuff like, “It’s special to play in Spain and in Madrid. And this year is no exception.”
On the tournament’s facilities, which he called “disorderly”:
“The facility is spectacular. This is a tournament with huge potential. The first year it is logical that there is some disorder. It is what I meant the other day (when I dissed the tournament big time -ed.) The tournament takes time. It requires a year or so to settle.”
On his happy state of mind:
“I’m good. Trying to adapt to the conditions and altitude. I have been here since Thursday and which is already a bit long. I’m excited and want to start playing.”
But Nadal couldn’t resist downplaying his chances in Madrid, saying that the conditions aren’t ideal for his game:
“The conditions of the tournament like the altitude and the court surface are similar to Hamburg and help a little the game of Djokovic, Federer or Verdasco. They are conditions that are theoretically favorable to them. But it is necessary to play and to see what happens on the court.”
I’m glad to hear that Rafa’s feeling more chipper. I’m wondering what percentage of his change-of-heart is due to getting used to his environment and how much is required by PR directives. Whatever the reason, there’s no way Nadal isn’t the favorite nowadays, no matter what the conditions or the surface!
Rafael Nadal makes his match debut in the Magic Box today (Wednesday) against Jurgen Melzer.
Source: Marca (my own translation from the Spanish)
Rafael Nadal considers a change of heart in Madrid. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images via Daylife