MONTE-CARLO ROLEX MASTERS
Nadal Not Concerned With Schedule
by Matt Fitzgerald|
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will have little time to celebrate his seventh consecutive title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. After defeating David Ferrer 6-4, 7-5 in Sunday’s final, Nadal’s attention quickly shifts to the ATP World Tour 500 event in Barcelona. The Spaniard opted not to enter last season but is riding a 24 match winning streak at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, earning five straight titles from 2005 to 2009.
The Majorcan has expended a great deal of court time in his past three tournaments, reaching the final at both ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami before winning in Monte Carlo. Though he admitted he was weary after Sunday’s final, Nadal is optmistic at where he is right now. “During the match I was more tired than usual today. But in general it was positive,” the top seed said. “That's important because these kinds of matches, like yesterday, like today, improve your condition physically and mentally.”
“It’s negative because you spent a lot of time on court, you have to run a lot on court, it’s always tough for the body. But if you talk about [what it does] mentally and physically, that can help a lot for the rest of the clay season.”
Nadal intends to play three more tournaments leading up to the French Open. In addition to the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, he has two more ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court events in Rome and Madrid.
Though he’s already proven his physical prowess, having played 17 matches in the past four weeks, the five-time Barcelona champion sees his participation at the tournament as an opportunity to maximize his points now to set himself up in a prime position later in the year. “Indian Wells to Wimbledon is the most [important] part of the season for me. These four or five months are decisive in my season,” assessed Nadal.
As for playing four events leading up to Roland Garros, the Spaniard is not fazed by the potential number of matches he could be involved in. “That's the calendar. That's where I have to play my best, where I have to defend a lot of points,” Nadal said.
“Every year I did a fantastic clay court season. I have to try to do it another time. With these four or five tournaments, if I am playing very well, I'm going to have the biggest chances to have enough points to try to be in the top position at the end of the year ranking. That's the top of my system in general. So I have to try… I am healthy now, so why not?”
Nadal will play the winner of Daniel Gimeno-Traver and Potito Starace in his opening match in Barcelona. Despite just winning in Monte Carlo, the World No. 1 is looking to enhance certain areas of his game. “I think I can improve a few things for next weeks,” disclosed Nadal.
“I am sliding less than usual on clay. It is easier to defend well when you are sliding, especially to the forehand. But I have two more days to practice for Barcelona. Let's see.”
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