Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has opened up on his training experience prior to the French Open.
The twenty-time Grand Slam champion said it was tough getting into the swing of things after the extended lockdown break.
“Lockdown came on us very suddenly”: Rafael Nadal
In a Q&A with children from the Rafa Nadal Foundation, a philanthropic organization that the Spaniard lends his name, the 13-time French Open champion said the lockdown weeks were “the most difficult”.
“Those 12 weeks, the first few weeks, were the most difficult because the lockdown came on us very suddenly. And it was difficult to accept (it) at first,” the Spaniard said.
He revealed that he was scared and worried about what was happening around him and found it tough to focus on his tennis at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping the world.
“Was sad to see so many families suffering”: Nadal
“We were all scared about what was happening and it was also sad to see so many families suffering and losing loved ones. So, we were all worried and very sad,” Nadal said.
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He said though incredibly tough, he had to accept the circumstances as they were and devote his time and energy into his training.
He said he did his bit to help families who had suffered during the pandemic before his thoughts slowly started to veer towards Roland-Garros.
Nadal accepted situation and focused on training for Roland-Garros
“Then, as always, you begin to accept the situation. And we began to do what we could, to try and do our bit. And that’s what we did. We tried to help in any way that we could. And then I began to slowly get back to work,” the Spaniard said.
“I tried to establish some daily work routines. Then gradually I started thinking that at some point, I’d have to start playing tennis again, and when that happened, I’d try to be as prepared as possible,” Nadal said.
While the Spaniard won his 13th title at Roland-Garros, tying him with old rival Roger Federer for the most number of Grand Slam titles, he couldn’t break this title jinx at the season-ending ATP Finals.