Nadal shrugs off fitness concerns ahead of Monte Carlo return

(Reuters) – World quantity three Rafa Nadal says he’s absolutely match and assured about his preparations as he begins his claycourt season on the Monte Carlo Masters, with one eye on the pursuit of a 14th French Open crown.

The Spaniard has not performed a aggressive match since his Australian Open quarter-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, having skipped a sequence of tournaments because of a again damage sustained in Melbourne.

Chasing a record-extending twelfth title in Monte Carlo, Nadal has been awarded a gap spherical bye and can open his marketing campaign within the second spherical in opposition to both Federico Delbonis or Adrian Mannarino.

“An essential a part of the season has arrived for me,” Nadal, 34, advised a information convention on Sunday.

“I feel I did the correct work to be prepared. I’m comfortable the best way that I’m taking part in, for the second my physique is in good condition.

“I’m assured. I’m practising nicely these couple of days right here in Monaco earlier than the match begins. So I really feel prepared.”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion isn’t the one member of the Nadal household to make the journey to Monte Carlo this week, along with his uncle and former coach Toni travelling to the Principality as the brand new member of Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime’s teaching workforce.

“He is aware of loads about this sport,” Rafa mentioned. “I’m positive that it may be an essential assist for Felix.”

Toni, 60, determined to step down as Rafa’s coach in 2017 and focus on working the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca.

Ahead of the 2021 season, Auger-Aliassime spent greater than every week coaching on the academy and approached Toni to affix his workforce.

“I’m comfortable for Felix. I’m comfortable for myself, too,” Nadal mentioned. “I’m comfortable to see my uncle right here, see him right here, spend time with him right here on the Tour once more. That’s a constructive factor.”

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, enhancing by Pritha Sarkar)

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