“I hope people are going to make the right decision [by choosing him]. It would be a great honour, I hope to be [the man] but at the end of the day it is an Olympic Games and you are part of the team and it’s something special. If I’m carrying the flag, great, if not then I will be in the back [with the team at the opening ceremony].”
- Nadal/Verdasco, Inglot/Murray Cruise In Monte-Carlo Doubles | ATP World Tour
The Spanish duo won 82 per cent of their service points to beat ATP World Tour veterans Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany and Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-4, 6-2.
In the second round, Nadal and Verdasco, a wild card entry, will face No. 3 seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, who received a first-round bye.
- Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal must answer questions at Monte Carlo Masters | Sky Sports
If I look at Rafa last year, and at Rafa throughout all of 2015, could he get back to his best? I felt it would be the clay court season where Rafa would get back to his best because he’s able to hit a large repetition of shots and build up confidence.
- More Monte-Carlo Magic On Nadal’s Mind | ATP World Tour
“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.
“I don’t have the stressful feelings like I had last year. 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.”
“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.”
- What to Expect from the ATP Big Four in Monte Carlo | Tennis View Magazine
In short, it has been a mixed bag for Nadal, and the pressure to find a way to mount successive successful weeks will only mount as he returns to his beloved red clay. It was at this juncture last season that fans expected him to right the ship, but it did not happen.
If Rafa is to win the French Open or even come close, his brittle confidence will need to be strengthened by winning one of the clay-court Masters events coming up in the next month.
- King of Clay: Nadal’s most dominant wins | tennishead.com
He may be without a title in 2016, but it’s Nadal’s favourite time of the year as the tour hits the European clay. With scheduled stops in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome could Nadal hit top form in time for Roland Garros?
- Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco win doubles first round in Monte Carlo
- Rafael Nadal Media Day Monte Carlo 2016
- Rafael Nadal and girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello attend 2016 Monte Carlo Masters Party
- Rafael Nadal practicing in Monte Carlo