World No. 4 Rafael Nadal says he is taking a humble approach in Madrid as he is hoping his return goes well and he finishes the tournament in positive spirits.
Nadal hasn’t played in any events so far this clay season as a rib injury forced him to withdraw from Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
Nadal hasn’t played a tennis match in a month and a half and he admits it won’t be easy in Madrid since he is lacking matches.
“I have improved compared to when I arrived here [in Madrid], but I still have ups and downs, because it’s been a long time. It’s going to be a difficult week,” Nadal said, as quoted on the ATP Tour. “That’s the reality. We have to be calm, we have to accept that things are going to be far away from perfection, but then onwards we just have to fight. I’m recovered. I feel good.
“It’s a very tight tournament for me,” Nadal added when asked about his preparation time. “We will have to take the positives and perhaps I will have good moments playing on court. We have to have some patience. We have to be humble day after day to see what happens. I will try to improve every day.”
Nadal focused on the present
Nadal made a stunning start to the season as he won an ATP event in Melbourne and then a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
Nadal acknowledged this year’s campaign in Australia was memorable but underlined that he has put it behind him as he is focused on the upcoming challenges.
Nadal’s big goal for this clay season is to win a record 14th French Open title.
“In our sport, there is not much time to think about Australia anymore,” Nadal said. “Australia was amazing, without a doubt, one of the most emotional moments in my tennis career. But during the past month, I was thinking about my injury.
“It is not a sport that you have time to celebrate a lot of victories if you want to keep being competitive for the next couple of events, and that’s what I try to do, even like this.”