Nadal: “My dream was to arrive in Rome competitive and I did it”

Spanish Rafa Nadal, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1000 Masters in Rome this Friday after defeating Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-1 and 6-3, considered that his return to competition after six and a half months has been better than he expected and showed his satisfaction at having a “good level” of tennis already.

“I have played two games at a good level, but in sports things change quickly and more when you have not competed for a long time. Today I am much better than three weeks ago, I have achieved a level of tennis that I think is more than acceptable, my illusion was to be competitive and that is what I have done, “Nadal said at the end of his match.

“Two positive games, two important victories (against Spanish Pablo Carreño and Lajovic). For me it is a tournament that has a relevant importance and it was important not to get here and lose fast. This helps me and tomorrow (for Saturday) another opportunity, “he added.

Nadal, nine times champion on clay at the Foro Italico, stressed that competition and long rallies help him a lot when it comes to continuing to grow in form and that the emotional charge of a match is not comparable to training.

He also praised his rival in the quarterfinals, Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

“I am aware that when I play against him, if I am not at the highest level it becomes difficult. He is the most difficult opponent that I am going to face up to this point in the tournament, “he said.

The one from Manacor, who has accumulated 19 Grand Slam titles and who can match the twenty “greats” of the Swiss Roger Federer at the next Roland Garros, assured that he does not experience this challenge as an “obsession”.

“It is not an obsession at all, I have never noticed what Roger (Federer) or Novak (Djokovic) had. I know that (in the press) it is given a lot of attention, obviously I would love to finish my career with 25, but it is something that probably will not happen, “he said.

“I will continue fighting to play my options and in the end, if I play well, I will have my opportunities, we'll see,” he concluded.