Rafael Nadal returned to the winner’s circle Sunday with a third Mutua Madrid Masters title. After losing to rival Novak Djokovic last month, Nadal was relieved to be back on top of the clay world as we close in on the French Open. And Rafa says he’s playing better but there’s still room for improvement.
“If you ask me if I feel better today than Monte‑Carlo playing I will say probably yes,” Nadal said yesterday. “My forehand is going faster. I am able to play more inside the court. I am serving well, more or less. I need a little bit more with my backhand. I need a little bit more with my movements. I need to keep finding a little bit more calm, more confidence on my movements.
“Today I was more confident than previous days, but I need more days like today. That’s all. I am working hard to try to arrive to this feeling.”
Nadal, who has won five titles in seven events in this comeback, is in Rome this week where the World No. 5 will secure a No. 4 seed in Paris if and only if he wins the title.
Rafa will begin his bid for a seventh Italian Open title Wednesday against Fabio Fognini.
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