Rafael Nadal suffered his fourth straight loss to Roger Federer yesterday in the Miami Open final. It was also his fifth straight runner-up at the event and third of the season. But the former No. 1 is happy with his first quarter of the season despite not winning a crown.
“I think I am close to what I need to be,” Nadal said. “I am at a very high level of tennis and I believe I am ready to win titles. I already played three finals this year, losing three times with a player that didn’t lose a match – only one match that he never would lose in normal conditions in Dubai and that’s it.
“I’m playing enough well to fight for everything I think. I have good hopes that I going to be ready for Monte-Carlo. Always when I am playing that well, on clay always helps a little bit more for me. I need to work hard to be ready for that. If I am ready for that, I think I am very excited about playing back on clay again.”
Nadal, though, says he still has work to do before he can be called the favorite to win in Paris.
“I don’t know if I am a candidate yet to winning the French Open,” Nadal said. “Remain four tournaments before the French Open. Let’s see what’s happening in those four tournaments. Then in the French Open we’ll see who’s the player who won more matches before and then we’ll see.
“My goal is feel myself ready to play on clay again, and I know if I have good preparation and I have healthy transition to the clay and I find my rhythm on clay, I know I can be one of those candidates.”
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