Jim Courier (inset) has commented on Rafael Nadal’s Madrid defeat.
In his third meeting with his younger compatriot, the five-time champion was slow off the blocks as Alcaraz grabbed the opener for the loss of just two games. Nadal roared back into the contest, dropping only one game in the second to force a decider. However, Alcaraz recovered his mojo to beat his illustrious rival for the first time and booked a blockbuster semifinal with top seed Novak Djokovic.
Despite the loss, Nadal, in his first competitive appearance in six weeks, logged over seven hours of court time in three matches in the Spanish capital.
In a post-match discussion on Tennis Channel, Courier said the 35-year-old has got a much-needed break ahead of Rome, where conditions will be similar to Roland Garros:
“I think, on many levels, this is a good result for Rafa to actually lose this match on a couple of levels, said Courier.” “He gets four days off to play at Rome, which is at sea-level, which much more mimics what he’ll face at Roland Garros from a conditions standpoint. And he gets a chance now to regroup, hopefully, kind of reassess where he is, knowing that his rib is no longer a problem.”
“All things considered, good week for Rafa” – Jim Courier on Rafael Nadal
Mutua Madrid Open – Day Nine
During the same discussion, Jim Courier said that Rafael Nadal’s foot might not be in optimum condition. He added that there were reports of the Spaniard hobbling to his press conference. Courier said:
“How’s his foot? That’s a question. I wasn’t sure his foot was going to feel good after the 2-hour match today, 3-hour match yesterday. Rumours that he was hobbling around to his press conference. We know that’s going to be a present problem for him, ongoing.”
Nevertheless, the American added that Nadal should be satisfied with his week’s exploits in the Spanish capital.
His rib injury did not flare up as he prepares for his next stop at the Foro Italico. Courier said:
“I think all things considered, good week for Rafa. Came out, got some match toughness, found out his rib could hold up, and now he’s pointing towards Rome and Roland Garros.”
Nadal is set to defend his title in Rome next week, where he’s a record ten-time champion.