“It was survival”: Nadal gave details of his ordeal during the duel with Shapovalov at the Australian Open

Rafael Nadal spoke about his physical problems at the Australian Open

After playing two sets at a very high level in the quarterfinals, Rafael Nadal had to suffer to advance to the next round of the Australian Open. Beyond the great level that the Canadian showed Denis Shapovalov, which most complicated Rafa was that he had to overcome a heatstroke that put his physical integrity at risk and forced him to “survive” to secure that victory 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6 and 6-3 which deposited him in the semifinals.

“I had a full blown heat stroke”, recognized Nadal in his appointment with the media after beat Shapovalov on the Rod Laver Arena, which opened the way for him inside the box to be measured this Friday against the Italian Matteo Berrettini for a place in the final.

“The pit of my stomach has closed, I felt dizzy and I did not have good bodily sensations at the breathing level”, added the Majorcan player from 35 years.

Rafael Nadal felt a strong stomach upset in his match against Denis Shapovalov (Photo: REUTERS)
Rafael Nadal felt a strong stomach upset in his match against Denis Shapovalov (Photo: REUTERS)

Nadal He had a devastating start, true to his style, but then he suffered a clear imbalance that took away the strength of his blows and reduced his deployment. His countenance changed completely and he had to resist to have chances to continue in the race in search of the record of the player with the most singles titles at Grand Slam tournaments.

“I think I was being better than him tennis-wise speaking. Then there was a time when energy and mobility levels have been declining. Everything became much more complicated to face the game with the same guarantees. My feelings were bad and I couldn’t fight the rest of the games like I usually do. I had to save energy for my services and try to survive. In the end it was that, a survival exercise. Of both mental and physical resistance. It has been possible to carry out a match that seemed practically impossible”, he analyzed.

According to the Spanish player, the intervention of the doctors made him play much more calmly: “I was a little worried because I felt bad. The doctor has come and I have had medical check-ups: blood pressure, vital signs… Everything was fine. I have been calmer at least in that sense.”

Rafael Nadal's next rival in Australia is the Italian Matteo Berrettini (Photo: REUTERS)
Rafael Nadal’s next rival in Australia is the Italian Matteo Berrettini (Photo: REUTERS)

Who had already advanced something about the physical problems he had Nadal it was Carlos Moya, former world number one and current coach of Rafa, who explained some of the sensations that his pupil had. “He lost four kilos after the game, dehydration was great. The key is that he is going to have an extra day that is going to come in handy because he will play on Friday”, he commented in an interview with the Cadena COPE.

Your next opponent is Matteo Berrettini. To achieve victory in that game and in the next, which will be against the winner of the duel between Daniil Medvedev Y Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rafa will conquer his title number 21 in majors. Currently, he is tied for 20th with Roger Federer, who is recovering from surgery on his right knee, and Novak Djokovic, who was deported from Australia.


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