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Nadal: "The Kind Of Play I'm Aiming For"

Madrid, Spain

Nadal© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal won his fifth title of the year in Madrid.

Rafael Nadal says his game is at the level where he wants it to be as he continues to rack up title after title and build his case as Novak Djokovic’s biggest threat for the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking. The Spaniard compiled an all-around performance to defeat the in-form Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 6-4 in Sunday’s Mutua Madrid Open final to capture a record 23rd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.  

“Since we started playing on clay in Europe, I've realised that my drive is working again at its high level. I'm able to open the angles and play a lot of winning points,” said Nadal. “I couldn't do that in Barcelona or Monte Carlo; over here I could… It's true these last matches I have been able to reach that place where I want to be playing, the kind of play that I'm aiming for.”

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Nadal won his fifth title of the season and has contested the final at all seven events he's played since returning from a left-knee injury in February. He became just the third player in the Open Era to win 40 titles on clay, equalling Thomas Muster for second place, and needs six more titles on the dirt to tie the mark set by Guillermo Vilas.

“I’m very happy for everything that has happened. Forty titles on clay are far more than what I've ever dreamed of,” said Nadal. “I will just enjoy them and continue working on the same level to try to be better and to try to be at a really good level for what will come in the future.”

The Mallorcan will turn his focus to the  Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, where he is the defending champion. Six of his clay-court trophies have come at the Foro Italico. Nadal will play the winner of an all-Italian encounter between Andreas Seppi and Fabio Fognini

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