Rafael Nadal has once again found his footing on the slippery clay surface. The former No. 1 turned around a disappointing start to 2016 by winning consecutive titles last month in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, defeating Andy Murray, Gael Monfils, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori during this 10-match win streak.
“I’ve been competing against the players and won matches against some of the best players of the world and competed pretty well against all of them,” Nadal said. “That has given me the opportunity to play the last three tournaments at a really high level, which are two Masters 1000s and on Masters 500. Winning and playing matches against these people, it’s really something good for me.”
But does that means he’s back?
“I don’t know which Rafa you’re going to find here,” he said. “I know that I’m doing things well. You know, I really want to do well. I’m really looking forward to it. Here I am. I’ve been preparing well. I hope to be prepared and do things as good as I can.”
Now, the 9-time French Open champion eyes a fourth title in biggest event in Spain as the Madrid Open begins this week.
“For me it’s a tournament that I’ve been playing well at historically talking,” Nadal said. “Another thing is the altitude, it’s another factor. There is altitude here, but for me personally – the altitude affects the game, of course – but I’m not a player that plays really bad with altitude.
“Perhaps I feel it’s safer at sea level, it’s true, but sincerely, normally I do well with altitude.”
Nadal opens play Tuesday against either Viktor Troicki or Andrey Kuznetsov.
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