Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray spoke today about their feelings before playing in the fourth Masters 1000 competition.
The start of the big favourites’ campaigns in the Mutua Madrid Open is ever closer. Apart from David Ferrer who is playing the Estoril final this Sunday, the rest of the Madrid tournament favourites spoke to the media today before their first games.
First to answer questions was Spanish player Rafa Nadal, champion of the tournament in 2005 and 2010, who will be seeking this third Caja Mágica title this year.
The Balearic Islander praised the quality of the courts. “The courts this year fortunately are really good. I think they are great. The only thing I can say is thank you to the tournament, you know, for the money that they have invested to have the highest quality courts in here”, he said.
Nadal also commented that he did not feel under pressure as he has to play in front of a public that is always with him, but in fact that this motivates him to perform well. “It’s always a reason to be happy for me to play at home. It’s reason for me to be happy and motivated. Pressure, I don’t have more pressure here than anywhere else. I like to play at home. I like the feeling of playing here, playing in front of my people here, my audience. Whether I play here, in Monte‑Carlo, Barcelona, Indian Wells, Acapulco, it doesn’t matter. The main goal is always the same: Doing as well as possible. I want to say thank you to the people who support me here in the training sessions and the matches. Over here I had some really, really good moments here and good feelings”, added the ex world number one.
The current champion, Roger Federer, returns to the courts after an absence caused by physical problems. He hopes to return stronger than ever to try to defend the Caja Mágica title he won last year. “Just been home and practising hard as I was hoping to. I feel good now. It took me a little time to get over my back issue from Indian Wells. But at the same time, that collided with my vacation anyway. I am entering all the tournaments from here through to the US Open, so it’s going to be a long stretch. You want to be ready for it. I’m very excited, which is a good thing”, said the Swiss player.
Novak Djokovic agreed with the rest of the players about the courts. “The court is great, the opinions of the other players I can hear are all positive comments, so it’s great to see that.” The Serbian added how “it’s always positive to see a tournament doing everything to make a player feel comfortable playing on the court, and of course feeling good off the court as well.” Nole explained that his ankle has recovered. “It’s better every day. I’ve been doing a lot of work from the end of Monte‑Carlo tournament until now in order to get ready for Madrid. It’s a very big tournament that I always like to play in.”
Andy Murray was also present in the press conference and shed his compliments regarding the Mutua Madrid Open. The “Courts are fantastic. We got here early. Got here Wednesday night, so been practicing for a few days. I played on the Centre court, I played on Sanchez Vicario, and also four or five of the practice courts as well. They’re excellent.” The British player did not want to bet on any favourites, “I have no idea who will win. In individual sport it’s very difficult to tell. I think especially playing in this altitude.” Although he did speak about Rafa Nadal, “I think Rafa is extremely strong mentally. I think the way he came back from his injury shows that. He came back very well”, said Murray.