There is no time to rest for Rafael Nadal, who has already headed for Barcelona, seeking an 11th title there as well after triumphing in Monte Carlo. On Monday, the Spaniard held his pre-tournament press conference to analyze his recent success. 'It was a very good week and it also confirms the feeling at Valencia in Davis Cup,' Nadal said. It's an important victory in a very special tournament for me. I played at a very good level for the whole week.'
Nadal is the favorite at the start of the tournament, but he is not complacent. 'Winning a Masters 1000 will never be a routine for me and for anyone neither. Every tournament has a different story. Heading into Conde de Godó with the confidence of having won in Monte Carlo is always good but doesn't guarantee anything. I will try to do things as best as possible.' The 31-year-old also said that he didn't expect to win so much in career: 'I didn't dream anything of what I achieved. You can dream of achievable things. 11 Monte Carlo, 10 Barcelona, 10 Roland Garros is something I couldn't imagine or dream. At 14 years old you dream to play these tournaments. '
Nadal now has 54 clay-titles out of 76 career-titles overall. Is he the best player on this surface? 'I am not the one to have to say it. With all the humility, numbers are what they are. I tried all my life to avoid these answers. I don't like to speak about it.'
He retained the no. 1 ranking position, but if he doesn't successfully defend Barcelona and Madrid titles, he will be passed by Roger Federer in the rankings, which are not his priority now. 'I don't care whether I defend 1,000, 2,000 or 500 points. Every year I start from zero. The ranking of defending points is only needed for the seedings. I look at the Year-Race and with the win in Monte Carlo, I am fourth in the Race. If I lose here, I could drop in the rankings but what I am interested in is the Race.'
Nadal could face Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals. About the Serbian's first appearance in Barcelona since 2006, he said: 'He had not been competing so much for a while, so it was a chance. I would have done the same thing if I were him. It's good for the tournament and Barcelona. Fans will thank him, for opponents, it's a bad news.'