World No.3 Rafael Nadal registered his first victory since the French Open 2021 semifinal shocking loss against eventual champion Novak Djokovic. In his Citi Open debut, top-seeded Spaniard powered past host Jack Sock in the three-setter 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(1).
In the Washington second-round match, Nadal started well against former World No.8 and claimed the first set(6-2). Eventually, the Spaniard outlasted World No.192 American in the 3-hour and 4-minute. But there were indications that he was still struggling with the left knee injury.
“My Fitness Is Fine”, says Rafael Nadal
Moreover, Rafael Nadal was asked about his body fitness level at the post-match interview. He said he was satisfied with his overall fitness. At the same time, Mallorcan revealed that he felt a little bit of pain in his foot during a tricky encounter.
“My fitness is fine. I just need to be a little bit – I need to have a little bit less pain in the foot, honestly. That’s true. But physically, I feel more or less okay,” Nadal said in the post-match press conference.
The Spaniard further explained, “Of course, you need matches like this to be fitter after a month without competing. But that’s part of the process, and I know the process. I went through all this stuff many times in my career. So it’s something I am not worried about.”
“So it is about winning these kinds of matches. That helps you to be better. Then, if I’m able to improve with my foot, I think the rest of the things are going to come step by step,” the former World No.1 added.
“I’m Going To Have A Tough Opponent In Front”: Nadal on Round of 16 Encounter
However, Rafael Nadal will lock horns with 14th seeded South African Lloyd Harris for a quarterfinals place in Citi Open 2021. Even though the Spaniard felt pain in his foot, he was confident that he would be ready for the subsequent encounter.
“I have been resting enough. Maybe it is not about relaxing but is the moment to just keep going. It is the moment to not practise much because I played a three-hour match, so I need to be ready for tomorrow”, Nadal confessed.
The Spaniard also expressed, “(I will) have a short warm-up tomorrow. Try to be ready for the match. I’m going to have a tough opponent in front. Let’s see. Tomorrow’s another day, another opportunity to play in front of this amazing crowd. I want to enjoy the experience again.”
Most notably, it will be the first meeting between Rafael Nadal and World No.50 Lloyd Harris. Their head-to-head record is 0-0.