(AFP) – Rafael Nadal said on Sunday that he is fit and ready to defend his Monte Carlo Masters title and the number-one ranking this week, as he returns to the ATP Tour after injury.
“I feel that I’m playing well. I had some good days of practice here, playing some good sets,” Rafa said ahead of the start of the claycourt season.
“That helps me. I love this event. I always feel comfortable here.
“I’m enjoying being here in Monte Carlo in an event that always brings me to the best feelings possible.
“It’s hopefully going to be my first event of the year that I can finish. And I’m excited about that.”
The 16-time Grand Slam champion is bidding for an incredible 11th title in Monaco and his third in a row, but knows that anything less than that would see him lose the number-one spot to the absent Federer.
Rafa had been due to return at Acapulco in February, but was forced to withdraw before his opening match and admitted that it was tough to miss the American hardcourt season.
“I knew when I was going to be ready. The problem is that it takes time.
“Australia was a tough moment, of course, being in that quarter-final, winning the match and having that problem, having a good chance.
“But I took the right time to have the right rest. I did all the things that the doctors told me. Then I felt great practising in Acapulco, playing very well, but then just the day before… I felt it again. So that’s the real thing.
“For me mentally the second one was even harder than what happened in Australia, even if Australia was a Grand Slam and was an opportunity lost.
“The second one was frustrating because I did all the things the right way.”
Ahead of a possible string of physically demanding claycourt matches, Nadal admitted another injury setback is always a possibility.
“Well it happened twice so you never know,” he said.
“Being honest, I am not practising thinking about if that comes back or not.
“I had injuries in my life, as you know, more than what I expected, but the good thing is that when I came back I was not afraid about what was going on.”
Looking forward to watching the King of Clay play for his 11th title of this tournament.Go Rafa go!!
Stay positive Rafa, take it one match at a time. Focus on what is in front of you.
Be healthy and injury free. Good luck in all of your clay tournaments and the RG.
You will definitely get your 11th Monte Carlo. You can do it for sure.
Rafa all the best for tomorrow.
I pray that you will be strong, and healthy all the way through your clay court season.
Love and prayers,
Good luck and Vamos Rafa <3
Rafa is so delightful, but he has a lot of energy. After seeing him at Davis Cup, I decided you would never want to sit behind him at a sporting event. He can’t sit still. He has such a positive attitude with such a sunny disposition. I really hope that he plays well during his beloved clay season. He will certainly be well rested unlike last year It is my favorite season of tennis too.
And your fans are hoping you can finish the clay-court season too. Stay healthy, stay positive. Just ROCK Monte-Carlo.
Looking forward to see u play,good luck and win win win! 🍀🍀🍀❤️
You can do it, vamos
Good luck Rafa you can do it
Eso mi Nadal siempre positivo creer en tu juego y en tu capacidad eres increible VAMOS MI RAFA por el triunfo. Cuidate mucho
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M alegro d k estes positivo…buena señal…ADELANTE!!