Rafael Nadal remembers, “I had a wonderful time in Washington.”

Rafael Nadal puts forth a lot of effort to heal from an abdominal ailment before making a comeback in Montreal the following week. Rafa played just two games after Washington last year due to a foot problem. Inflicting a foot injury on Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of the Roland Garros tournament, Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon and the Olympics.

The Spaniard surprised everyone by accepting the ATP 500 Washington wild card when he resumed training in July. Rafa made his debut in the American capital and had a terrific time touring the city while experiencing the crowd’s love and picking up positive energy.

When he made his debut against Jack Sock in the second round, Rafa put his foot through its paces. After more than three hours on the court, the Spaniard won the deciding set tie break. In the third round, Nadal faced up against Lloyd Harris and lost 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in two hours and ten minutes.

The Spaniard did not play poorly, but after falling behind in the crucial moments, it was not enough to keep him in the game. Harris had 16 aces and successfully averted four of six break attempts. In sets one and three, Nadal had three break opportunities and had one shaky service game, which brought an unexpected end to his streak.

Rafa made 11 unforced errors and 26 winners. In contrast, Lloyd played aggressive tennis and executed flawlessly when it mattered most, recording 38 victories and 21 errors. In game seven of the opening match, the South African broke Rafael Nadal in game 15, and in game ten, she defeated a break attempt with a forehand crosscourt winner to win 6-4.

Last year, Rafael Nadal had a good experience visiting Washington.

Starting anew, Nadal improved in the second set and earned breaks in games four and six to win it 6-1 and gain traction. With a strong serve, Lloyd held off two break attempts at the start of the decisive set and another at 2-2.

At 5-4, the South African came back and executed a flawless lob winner to steal Nadal‘s serve, win the match, and mark the most significant triumph of his career “The atmosphere has been wonderful from the start.

I can’t express my gratitude to everyone in Washington enough. Sincerity be damned, the excitement and support have been incredible. I’m making an effort to handle things as well as I can. I’m content if that encourages the youngsters to play racquetball.

I’m pleased of myself if my move to Washington was able to introduce even one young child to the game of tennis because we need youngsters playing tennis more than anything. I hope tennis maintains its high level of popularity and draws a large audience on a global scale.

My first trip to Washington was fantastic. People are extremely devoted to our sport. The hardest part is that I can’t play in front of this great crowd again tomorrow. For me, discovering a new city was a wonderful experience. I liked it and will keep in mind the kindness and support of others, “said Rafael Nadal.