- Nadal Hits The Clay With History On His Mind | ATP World Tour
Since 2009, Nadal has gained an average of 2,448 points at the four biggest clay tournaments before Roland Garros: the three Masters 1000 tournaments – Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Mutua Madrid Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome – and the Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell, an ATP World Tour 500 event. At the four tournaments, Nadal has won a combined 29 titles.
Should Nadal claim the top spot in the Race, it’s likely he will have captured at least one title from either Monte-Carlo, Barcelona or Roland Garros – the three events he has won a record nine times each. The Spaniard is the only player in the Open Era to have won a tournament nine times. If he were to win the trio of tournaments for a record 10th time, he’d stamp his legacy on the game – and on the clay – once more.
- Fourteen Years Later, Nadal Reflects On Monte-Carlo Debut | ATP World Tour
“This is an important event. It’s one of my favourite events of the year without a doubt. Monte-Carlo is unique for me. I’m trying to work as much as I can to be ready for the competition and adjust my game again to clay.
“I am excited to be here. I started slow to adapt to the clay, hitting for 45 minutes, then one hour and one hour and 30 minutes for the first few days. I did what I needed to avoid the risk for injuries. With more practise, I remind myself how to win the points, how to defend and how to move. It’s a process. Things are not that easy. It takes time. I decided to not play on clay in February this year so it’s a little different.”
It’s been a brilliant 2017 for Rafael Nadal, who reached his first major final since 2014 at this year’s Australian Open. Though Nadal has been unable to solve the riddle of Roger Federer in the season’s first three months, he has nonetheless built a great deal of momentum, going 19-5 with three Top 10 wins and two hard court finals to his name.
Now, if the Spaniard can take the next step and summon that savage clay-court form of year’s past, then he might have a real chance to do serious damage over the next two months. The Spaniard thinks he’s ready to do just that.
- Monte-Carlo Masters: Pre-tournament presser photos
- Stars Attend Media Day At Monte-Carlo 2017 | ATP World Tour
- An interview with Rafa in Monte-Carlo