Rafael Nadal is the leading title winner of the Mutua Madrid Open. Spaniard has won 5 titles so far. However, Nadal’s first title run, especially the five-setters first final against Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, would be one of the greatest matches in his career.
Nadal will begin this year’s Madrid Open campaign as a top seed in the main draw next week. His 18th appearance event will be a player’s most participation in Spain’s capital’s ATP Masters 1000 event.
On this special occasion, Rafael Nadal recalled his unforgettable moments in Madrid in the virtual conversation with the Madrid Masters tournament director, Feliciano Lopez.
“The Game Cost Me A Few Months of a Sports Career”: Rafael Nadal on Final Against Ivan Ljubicic
In the 2005 Madrid Masters final, No.1 seed Nadal bounced back after two sets down stunned No.8 seed Ivan Ljubicic (3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6) to lift his first title at home with 10,000 spectators applause rain.
When remembering the home memories, Rafael Nadal said, “the first was in 2005. It was the final, even if it wasn’t on land. It was an unforgettable game, fascinating, where I remember that the public was incredible. The game cost me a few months of a sports career.”
Nadal pointed he enjoyed playing in the middle of the home crowd and could not walk the following day after fighting with Croatian for more than four hours.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion continued, “I broke my foot, but it was worth it. It was worth the emotion I experienced, that made it impossible to forget. The next day I woke up lame. I couldn’t even walk.”
“The public was very close, being covered. Everything is heard more. It was amazing to be able to win at home like that, besides being very young,” the 34-year-old from Monacor added.
Talking about this year’s event, Rafael Nadal hopes to play his best in front of his home crowd.