World No. 1 Rafael Nadal previewed the upcoming clay season as part of a promo from the Barcelona event later this month.
“I really look forward to the clay season and want to do well. I hope to play well at the first tournament in Monte Carlo,” said Nadal.
Nadal, who handily lost to rival Novak Djokovic Sunday in Miami, says he’s pleased with his season thus far, but knows he missed a big chance in Australia.
“The season is going well, with two titles, and the final in Australia and Miami,” Nadal said. “But without the defeat and injury in Australia it would have been exceptional.
“I hope to play against [Novak] again because it means that I made it to the final, which always is a good result.”
Nadal reiterated the back was still causing him some pain in Rio and he just didn’t play well enough at Indian Wells. In Miami, he said he found his rhythm early but lost some of that when Tomas Berdych withdrew before the semifinal.
The 27-year-old Nadal then looked ahead to the future adding he’d like to play for many more years.
“You have to be happy with yourself and to achieve this happiness you must work hard. Once I am not motivated or ambitious anymore, I will look forward to doing something else. At the moment I am happy, but I know that I can’t play forever. We’ll see for how much longer. I hope for many more years.”
Nadal will make his European clay debut in 10 days at Monte Carlo where he will seek a ninth title.
“Every tournament is a challenge,” he said via Google translation. “Every event is important. I face the clay season with high enthusiasm and desire to do well.”
Rafa is also back to training:
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