Rafael Nadal‘s preparations in Madrid continue. The number one tennis player in the world and five-time champion on the clay in the Spanish capital spoke to the press on Monday about his feelings on the Mutua Madrid Open courts before his opener. The Mallorcan said he feels comfortable in Madrid, where he always enjoys a fantastic atmosphere and will start off as favourite after victory in Barcelona.
“I played really well in both Monte Carlo and Barcelona, things went really well and I have no complaints, but that doesn’t guarantee me being favourite here. Madrid is a difficult tournament and I try to prepare to be competitive from day one. When you go out on court you know that you can win or lose. I don’t care at all if I’m favourite because superiority comes as quickly as it goes”, stated Rafael Nadal.
The player from Manacor also spoke of the condition of the courts in Madrid and admitted that it takes a little longer to adapt to them than at other tournaments. “They are the best but it is true that you go through a process of adaptation when you get here. I’ve come from two tournaments where I played really well, but in very different situations. Monte Carlo and Barcelona allow you to have more control of what happens on court. That’s difficult to get here, especially in the first few days”, he explained.
“I try to do as well as possible. This is the least typical clay tournament, we’ve been saying that for ages, and it’s the same for everyone, but it’s true that I always like the sun and more heat. On centre court you can control things a little more, but on the outside courts it feels like things go faster”, said the world number one.
As for his preparation for this Mutua Madrid Open, Nadal spoke about the players he has been training with this week. On Monday morning he did so with Marc López on the other side of the net and previously with Guillermo García-López, Grigor Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem. “I train with the people I get on well with. I’ve trained with Thiem, Dimitrov, with Guillermo García-López and with my team and Marc López. I get on well with all the players but there is always someone you get on better with”, he noted.
In addition, Nadal mentioned that he is happy to be back in Madrid again this year. “It’s true that it is hard to get used to it but it’s difficult for everyone. I feel better every day and I’m happy to be here again. The relationship with the public is very special here in Madrid. The Atmosphere is fantastic, the fans are perfect. I have always played with a full stadium, with the fans supporting me, they are really passionate about tennis. The tournament has really improved and it’s great”.
Finally he spoke of the importance to Madrid of hosting a Masters 100 event. “We have an event in Spain of a very high standard and it’s one of the most high-profile sports in the world”, said Nadal, who also spoke of the hard work required to put on a competition like this one, noting that there are only 9 of them.