Fan favorite Rafael Nadal opens his spring clay season hoping to get back to his winning ways at one of his favorite, most successful tournaments, the Monte Carlo Open.
The former No. 1 comes into Monte Carlo as an 8-time champion, but without a title on the tour since the summer and only one Top 40 victory this season.
“It’s always good to be here,” said Nadal. “I always have special feelings and I’m happy to be back. It’s the right place to be to play tennis. I had good practices in Mallorca and here and I hope to be ready for the action… I am here to try my best in every match and I don’t know how far I can go, but I will try my best to play well.”
Despite the subpar results, Nadal’s says he’s in a better place than he was a year ago.
“I don’t have the stressful feelings like I had last year,” Nadal said. “I’m feeling much better with myself. The confidence is always the same. After Indian Wells, my confidence has been very high. I want to start the competition now and we’ll see how I play here.”
Nadal also commented on Novak Djokovic’s incredible run.
“Everybody wants to be in his position now,” Nadal said. “When you win it’s easier to keep winning and when you lose it’s easier to keep losing. It’s always those same dynamics, especially with an unbelievable player like him. It’s difficult to stop. He’s going to be the favourite for every tournament until somebody shows something different. He’s the player of the moment without a doubt. Everyone sees him as the winner.”
Nadal will open play against Aljaz Bedene in the second round on Wednesday. Ranked No. 5, Nadal is 12-6 on the season.
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