Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal had acknowledged that he is taking a slow approach with his foot issue as his goal is to improve day by day. Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, returned to action last week in Washington for the first time since losing in the French Open semifinal.
Nadal's campaign in Washington ended too early as the Spaniard suffered a shock round-of-16 loss. Nadal edged out former world No. 8 Jack Sock in his Washington opener, before losing to Lloyd Harris. "I am going day by day,” Nadal said in his pre-tournament press conference, per the ATP website.
“The main thing is to try and feel I am improving and feel I am playing better and better, which is the goal at this tournament." Despite not being at his best, Nadal decided to give the green light to this week's Toronto Masters.
Nadal, 35, is hoping to make a deep run at the Toronto Masters and potentially win his third title at the tournament. “I need to have a couple of weeks with less pain to have the confidence again with my movement. I am coming here to try and win, but also to keep feeling positive with my foot.
I am not at my peak yet, but I have been practising better than I played in Washington, so I am excited to play here. Hopefully, I will be able to compete well”.
Nadal felt pretty bad after the French Open
After the French Open, Nadal didn't pick up a racket for 20 days.
“I couldn’t practise for a couple of weeks [after Roland Garros],” Nadal said. “It was around 20 days without a racquet trying to recover. Also, [it was difficult] mentally as well. I didn’t play well enough [at Roland Garros].
“Last week in Washington, the first round was tough with my foot, but in the second round, I felt a little bit better. Even if I lost, that is a positive thing for me. It is about trying to find the routine again on court.
Trying to be competitive again. I need to have the feeling of playing a few days in a row without any problems”. Nadal won the Toronto Masters in 2008 and 2018. "“I am happy to be here," Nadal added. "It is a place where I have had a lot of success in the past and many good memories."