Rafael Nadal is winning again as he makes admission about his future

Nadal has played his best tennis of 2024 in Madrid.
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Rafael Nadal will always be a dangerous player on clay. He is likely inarguably the best clay court player in the history of tennis. Technology has changed since Bjorn Borg played, of course, but Nadal's forehand would probably still be overpowering with a wood racket. (An in-prime Borg versus Nadal match would make for excellent tennis, however.)

Nadal has made a good run at the Madrid Masters so far. Even if he does not reach the final, he should have gained some confidence from his victories, especially his revenge match against Alex de Minaur. De Minaur had defeated Nadal in their two previous matches and one was on clay. If nothing else, Nadal has re-established himself, maybe in his own mind, as a favorite at the French Open in late May.

Most people might not have had any doubts as to Nadal's capability at Roland Garros in 2024. Some believe that Carlos Alcaraz should be the odds-on favorite to win the next major. Alcaraz is a young player who is excellent on clay with extreme gifts as far as athleticism and shot-making. But he does not have Nadal's experience of winning the French Open nor does he have Nadal's forehand.

Rafael Nadal winning again but he is not sure for how long

Rafael Nadal, though, may be the person who needs to believe in his ability a bit more. He did not play after January 2023 due to a hip injury he suffered at the Australian Open and prior to that, he was struggling with an abdominal issue. Because of injury problems, the Spaniard has not won a tournament in almost two years. His last win came at the French Open in 2022.

That is a long time for an all-time great to go without winning an event. For one who is used to winning at a high level, such as Nadal, having a long stretch of either losing or not playing well because of health concerns or both can have a detrimental effect mentally. One has to have skill to win in tennis, but one has to have confidence as well.

After Nadal's third-round win over Pedro Cachin, Nadal admitted in the post-match press conference that is not sure what his future holds, using the word "unpredictable" several times. The Spanish great said he was happy to be playing in Madrid and in relatively good form, but what the next match brings, he cannot be sure.

Nadal said, "It is more unpredictable for me now. I used to be a not very unpredictable. I have been very regular in terms of emotions and in tennis, building every day. More or less stable. Now I am more unpredictable for my opponents and especially for myself. “I need to find a way to be able to play days in a row and be competitive. I don’t know if I am in that moment yet, let’s see what happens. I’m just happy to be on court again and I hope to be ready."

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