Nadal Skipped Miami, Now Eyes The Clay Court Season
epa03629922 Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina in the men's final match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, USA, 17 March 2013. Nadal defeated Del Potro to win the match and the tournament. EPA/PAUL BUCK |
Rafael Nadal sat out the Miami Masters, but is licking his lips in anticipation of his favorite part of the ATP year – the clay season.
Nadal as well as Roger Federer gave the Miami event a wide berth, with the Florida tournament experiencing particularly poor fortune at this edition, with power outages, multiple player pullouts and a lack of Latin drawing cards in the field of an event staged for all intents and purposes in what can be considered a South American city.
Nadal won the Indian Wells title to prove that his dodgy knees may no longer be a major issue – for now – and then headed home to rest after a month in competition. He is already counting the days until his trip to Monte Carlo in three weeks, where he makes a bid for a record-shattering ninth straight clay trophy in the principality.
“It was good to be home after seven weeks away but after being home seven months I would have liked to play in Miami without a doubt, “Nadal told Spanish media on his home island of Mallorca. “The knee has improved. It’s permitted me to compete without limitation although with pain.”
The No. 4 called his main objective “to have no more pain in the knee. One can compete with pain but after continuous pain the moment comes where your head only accepts so much so we will try to have less pain each time.
“I’m looking forward to one of the nicest parts of the year… My favorite part without a doubt which is playing Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros and so I will work to try to arrive as best prepared as possible.”
Added the Spaniard, who has collected three titles since making his return to competition after seven months out injured: “This is one of the most important parts of season, we will do what’s possible to arrive well-prepared. If the knee is 100 per cent, I suppose the option of positive results increases.”
At 33 years old, perhaps it would not have been appropriate if Roger Federer had not been required to work hard for a win on his birthday. Well, he certainly had to do just that in what was his second three-setter in as many days at the Rogers Cup.
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