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Be amazed, but you shouldn’t be: Nadal dreams of much more than Roland Garros

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Haruspices no longer exist, but they would be very useful in the case of Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has been basically out of the tennis tour for almost a year and a half, but in the midst of a discourse full of contradictions, he acts with the determination of someone willing to keep fighting for great things.
Who were the haruspices? Priests in ancient Rome who examined the entrails of sacrificed animals and, based on what they “read” there, made their omens.
What would an haruspex read after sacrificing today a goat or a chicken to unravel the future of Nadal?
It should be an experienced haruspice, of the best that offered that Rome, because in his appearance on Monday in Barcelona to confirm that returns to play, Nadal left several phrases that make you think one thing and the opposite, yes and no, that may be, but not.

Some of Nadal’s phrases:

– “I take it as my last year”.

– “I do not know what may happen in the future, but today I take it as my last participation in Barcelona”.

– “We will keep going until one has the feeling that it is not worth doing the things I do.”

– “We don’t have to hide anything, we know all the problems we have been having. We have the abs problem, I said it because my uncle commented on it.”

– “I don’t put a deadline on that, but in the end life is marking its path for you and I try to do things, within my ethics, in the most logical way possible.”

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By examining the entrails of some Mallorcan goat, the experienced haruspice would come to a couple of conclusions and some predictions:

– Nadal does not know how his body will respond
– Nadal does not want to retire
– Nadal fantasizes, as he did on May 19, 2023, when he announced his temporary retirement, about continuing to play beyond 2024 if things end up going well this year, as anticipated by Juan Monaco to CLAY in 2023.
– Nadal does not see himself giving up, he will keep trying until the reality is so overwhelming that it forces him into retirement.
– Nadal is still being counter-programmed by his uncle Toni, who tells more things than he and his team would like.

Nadal dreams of much more than Roland Garros

The Spaniard is a month and a half shy of his 38th birthday, and his obsession is to return to tournaments being extremely competitive. Nadal has long been able to play and compete, but not at the level he desires. There are physical problems, yes, but the biggest obstacle is another: Nadal will return only if he feels he can do something important.

Rafael Nadal next to his statue in Roland Garros // ©Christophe Guibbaud/FFT

It is clear that his entourage has already clearly raised the advice disguised as a question: Don’t you think it’s enough, Rafa? And his answer is still “no, it isn’t”. Just as nothing was ever enough for him when it comes to competing, the same is true when it comes to facing a return full of risks. He is not coming back for “tributes”, he does not want farewell tours today.

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As never before, his communications on social networks show the imprint of himself, a series of spontaneous and sometimes contradictory phrases. Phrases that make you think that the time has come to say goodbye, but accompanied by videos in which he is seen full of energy in training. He is the one who writes, because he is the only one who decides. He is alone before his greatest challenge, the world is witness to his oscillations, emotions and contradictions.

Be amazed, yes. Although you shouldn’t, because Nadal is being more Nadal than ever. He enjoys what seems impossible, because he feels he can change the course of things and make it possible. He feels he can win.

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