Carlos Alcaraz says it ‘hurts’ him to see Rafael Nadal playing with pain due to his persistent foot injury.
Nadal started the year in absolutely blistering form, winning the Australian Open as well as the Melbourne Summer Set and Acapulco.
He also reached the final of Indian Wells, although a cracked rib in the semi-final against Alcaraz forced him to miss the start of clay season.
Last season was a tough one for Nadal, with him withdrawing from the Tour in August because of a long-standing foot injury that now appears to have reared its head once again.
He was limping badly and visible struggling during his defeat to Denis Shapovalov at the Rome Masters, and Alcaraz says he finds that very tough to watch.
“Nobody likes to see Nadal like this, he is a reference for everyone and it hurts me to see him suffer while playing the sport he loves,” Carlos Alcaraz said. “It hurts us all.
“I know he had a few days to recover and I believe that in Paris he will be competitive again.”
Nadal addressed the issue after that defeat to Shapovalov and played down the problem, saying it’s simply something he manages.
“I am not injured,” Nadal claimed. “I am living with an injury. My day by day is difficult.
“I imagine there will come a time when my head will say ‘enough’.
“Pain takes away your happiness, not only in tennis but in life. And my problem is that many days I live with too much pain.
“[Roland-Garros is] still the goal, in one week and a couple of days. I’ll still keep dreaming.
“Maybe in two days, things are better, the things that I have on my foot. It’s true that during Roland Garros I’m going to have my doctor with me – that sometimes helps.”
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