Rafa Nadal was intractable, commenting on the decisions over the Puerto Case. From the Santo Domingo Social Club (Madrid), the Majorcan didn’t hold back on his opinion.
“I can’t judge. My opinion is that the resolution is not positive for anyone. The only ones who come out on top are those who have cheated, and it seems unfair to me that, on such a serious matter, and one that damages the image of sport, in general; we who feel most affected are the Spaniards, and, the sport,” the Majorcan said.
The current #5 in the world, accompanied by the NBA player, José Manuel Calderón, thought it was outrageous that those implicated would never see the light of day. ”Personally, it seems an injustice that they won’t expose the names of those who’ve cheated, be they Spaniards or not. José (Calderón) and I know what this is doing to the image of our country, and it’s not favorable. Maybe the best thing is to stop talking about it. To me, it seems a mistake that they won’t give out the names of those who have cheated; they deserve, at least, the denigration of all athletes. (However) that’s not how it went, and we have to work towards a 100% clean sport, and hope that in the future, this never happens again.”
The Majorcan, with his head in the Madrid Open, was asked how he felt returning to competition, having reached 6 finals in 6 tournaments played…if he had expected such good results as he has seen. ”No, not at all. When you come back, you just want to see how you’re going to find yourself. If you’d asked anyone on my team, and me, more than anyone, if we’d have had these results, we’d have told you you were crazy,” he said.
“Things have been going well. We’re in a place we couldn’t have imagined. I appreciate it a lot, and we just keep working, day-by-day, to get the feeling back on a regular basis…it’s the only way forward. Work and belief, effort to continue in every tournament, in every point, in every year,” Nadal said, signing off from Madrid.
In terms of expectations in the Mutua Madrileña (MS 1000), Nadal called the conditions that he finds in the Magic Box an extra challenge to get past. ”The desire and sweetness to play in Spain is very important, and special to the Spanish players. That’s always a motivation for all Spanish players. Always a motivating situation, and Madrid has always been amazing, especially with me. I appreciate the opportunities they’ve given me, and I hope that on Wednesday, I’m well-prepared to compete, and make a good tournament of it.
As one of the tennis players most critical of the blue clay last year, his opinion of the surface is radically different this year. ”It’s very good. The court is in perfect shape. It’s the best clay court since we started playing (on clay) in Madrid. This is great news for the event, the players, for everyone. I’m happy to play in Madrid.”