World no. 3 Rafael Nadal returns to action next week in Monte Carlo, entering one of his favorite events and chasing the 12th title in the Principality! Nadal enjoyed a good practice run in the last couple of weeks, dealing with a back injury since January and feeling better ahead of the season's second Masters 1000 event.
Excited about his beloved clay and competition, Nadal said that he wants to give his best after skipping almost two months, feeling a bit strange after coming to Monte Carlo with only a couple of matches in his legs since the start of the season.
The greatest clay-courter of all time has won only three titles on his favorite surface after 2018, losing three straight semi-finals in 2019 and competing at only two events in 2020 due to the coronavirus. Now, the Spaniard is throwing everything on his favorite European clay swing, entering four or five tournaments in the upcoming weeks and hoping to perform well at all of them.
Rafael Nadal feels confident ahead of Monte Carlo.
Rafa had to skip Rotterdam and Miami after the Australian Open, staying at home and working on clay ahead of Monte Carlo. Kicking off the new season in Adelaide, Rafa suffered a back injury during the practice session, heading to Melbourne and skipping the ATP Cup as he didn't want to risk anything.
The Spaniard entered the Australian Open and made a strong start against the lower-ranked rivals, sealing the deal in straight sets to avoid spending more time on the court and preserve energy. Rafa scored comfortable wins over Cameron Norrie and Fabio Fognini to reach the quarter, feeling good on the court and hoping for more of the same against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The 2009 champion opened two sets to love advantage against the Greek, who made a marvelous comeback to stun the 20-time Major winner in thrilling five sets. Rafa has stayed away from the court ever since, preparing for Monte Carlo, where he claimed 11 titles between 2005-2018!
"I feel good about how I am training and my body's shape. I'm not used to coming to this tournament with only a couple of matches at the beginning of the season, but I'm excited about the challenge," Rafael Nadal said.