Nadal upbeat ahead of Monte Carlo

13 April 2021 00:48:03 GMTPlus10

Rafael Nadal insists he is "confident" and feeling good as he prepares to return to the courts in the Monte Carlo Masters this month.

Nadal has been sidelined with a back injury recently and was last in action at the first Grand Slam of the season - February's Australian Open.

The Spaniard made it to the quarter-finals in Melbourne, only to lose to Greek starlet Stefanos Tsitsipas, but insists he feels "ready" for the season's clay events, starting with the Monte Carlo Masters this week.

Nadal has won the ATP Masters 1000 event on a record 11 occasions, picking up three successive titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

And although Fabio Fognini was the most recent winner of the Monte Carlo event, Nadal, who has a record 13 French Open titles to his name, insists practice has gone well in the principality.

Known as the 'King of Clay', Nadal has earned a bye to the round of 32 in Monte Carlo, where he will take on the winner of the clash between Federico Delbonis and Adrian Mannarino.

Speaking before the tournament, Nadal said: "I am good. Honestly, I am confident. I am playing well - I [have been] practising well [during the past] couple of days here in Monte-Carlo before the tournament starts. I feel ready.

"My mindset is the same as always. I just try to be ready - going day by day.

"[I am] just happy to enjoy another experience, another opportunity for me to compete in these historic places of our sport."

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal is 1.83 to win the 2021 French Open.

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