Nadal is a spring classic

The clay court season is a spring classic associated for three decades with a proper name: Rafa Nadal. The undeniable dominator of the surface, who has passed the roller for all his records, returned this Wednesday to the circuit in the Monte Carlo Masters 1,000, one of his talisman tournaments. Rafa has been crowned 11 times in the Principality, where he has a winning record of 72-5 since his debut in 2003. With such a record, it goes without saying that Nadal is the favorite whenever he plays in Monaco or in any competition on clay. His debut before Federico Delbonis This is how he verifies it: 6-1 and 6-2 in one hour and 20 minutes.

Despite that marker, the sensations and the antecedents, we must be cautious with everything that surrounds Nadal, who has us used to big comebacks, but also to physical hardships that erode his career. The Balearic had 56 days without playing before jumping onto the runway Rainier III, since he fell eliminated in the Australian Open quarter-finals against Stefanos Tsitsipas, and has been planted in the Côte d'Azur with fewer previous games than ever, only five, because of those back pain that diminished his start of the course. Prudence is always a good counselor.

Nadal is the king of the earth, and his last recital at Roland Garros, back in October, invites us to think that it can continue to be so. Your experience also adds up. Paris is once again the goal that looms on the horizon, of course. But you have to go game by game, with a cholista spirit. In this stage Novak Djokovic has also returned, in his case after being crowned in Melbourne and winning his 18th Grand Slam. The Serbian can also boast of being the only tennis player capable of having beaten the Spanish twice in Monte Carlo. Caution, I insist. Clay is back, a spring classic. And with her Nadal, her historical monarch. Let's enjoy each racket. This way it will taste better to us.