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Nadal Jokes Federer Is 'Contradictory' For Skipping Clay-Court Season

16 April, 2018, 15:58 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Rafael Nadal could face Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals next week

"It depends on what I want to do, how to avoid the injury, what my head tells me to do", he had said adding that whether he plays or not on the ground this season "does not depend on the presence or absence of Rafa (Nadal) and Novak (Djokovic)". All eyes will be on Rafael Nadal, who is eyeing his 11th title on the red dirt of Monte Carlo. I've played some good sets and that helps me. "I had some good days of practice here, playing some good sets", Nadal said.

Nadal returned to action at the Davis Cup earlier this month and will now play at the Monte-Carlo Masters this week as he looks to defend his clay points from a year ago and remain atop the rankings. The 31-year-old had retired in the quarter-final of the Australian Open earlier this year due to injury concerns. Maybe a little bit contradictory, ' Nadal joked in his pre-tournament press conference in Monte Carlo. When the time comes to play, I need to be at my best. But they always feel like crumbs stolen from the giant's table. I'm enjoying being here in Monte Carlo in an event that always brings me to the best feelings possible. This is my first event of the year, that I hope I can finish and I am excited about that...

However, Federer had later said that he would not be able to play on clay for this season as well, something which prompted Nadal to make a playful comment on his long-time rival ahead of the Monte Carlo Masters.

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Every match I win is very important.' At the Australian Open he dealt with a Psoas muscle lesion for the first time, but in Acapulco, he suffered a setback. 'Mentally, it was even harder the second time,' Nadal admitted. "I know I gotta keep mine", Djokovic said on Twitter this week. The Spaniard won here eight years in a row between 2005 and 2012, and also took the title in both 2016 and 2017 after a four-year gap.

"Australia was a tough moment, of course, being in that quarter-final, winning the match and having that problem, having a good chance. I am not a fan of watching a lot of TV, so I also spent time with friends and went out on the boat for a couple of days". So that's the real thing. "The second one was frustrating because I'd done everything the right way to recover..."

He opens with a bye and then either Pablo Cuevas or Fernando Verdasco - both are inconsistent these days - before a potential round three with Milos Raonic, another player whose level is tough to judge on clay now.

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