Everything is ready for the Rafa Nadal’s return to the tracks in Cincinnatileft behind, waiting to test in competition, the abdominal rupture that made him leave Wimbledon. Among the videos circulating on social media of the left-hander training at the Lindner Family Tennis Center facilities, another from a few years ago, more precisely from 1989:
The footballer is Miguel Ángel Nadal and the boy he is holding is his nephew Rafael. At that time, he had no idea that whoever he would meet during a television interview would become a sports legend. Miguel Ángel was a central defender, who sometimes also acted as a midfielder, who He divided his career in two teams: Mallorca (1986-91 and 1999-2005) and FC Barcelona (1991-1999), with which he won, among other titles, five league titles and a European Cup. He was also selected 62 times.
During Rafa Nadal’s childhood, he combined tennis with football, his other great passion and in which he was also very good. In the end, given the results, it seems that opting for the racket was a wise choice. He never hid that his team was Real Madrid, even though he had an uncle who played in Barcelona. This is how Toni Nadal explained it in a interview with REASON years ago: “The family is divided, ha ha ha. When my brother was playing at Barca, Rafael wanted Barcelona to win, but he wasn’t very convinced. because he is a Real Madrid fan. When he returned to Mallorca, he was able to change again”.
On the way to the US Open
Nadal prepares for his return to the tracks in Cincinnati. He was seen sharing training with Danish youngster Rune and the big question is how he performs on serve, which is the blow the abdominal injury has limited him. It will be the thirteenth participation of the Balearic Islands in this Masters 1000, which won in 2013. He had not participated since 2017. The big absentee will be Novak Djokovic, although he was opened a door to be able to play the US Open although he is not vaccinated against covid. The Serbian has fond memories of Cincinnati: when he conquered it in 2018, he became the first tennis player, and for the moment the only one, to have won all the Masters 1000 at least once. Nadal misses Miami and Paris-Bercy. It didn’t win the title in Shanghai either, but it did in Madrid when played indoors on hard court, which was the equivalent in 2005.
The record that Rafa will be looking to continue developing is the Grand Slam one: he has 22 and in New York he will be looking for 23.
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