Nadal welcomes home comforts
Rafael Nadal is hopeful that home support at the ATP Madrid Open will provide him with an extra boost as he awaits his second-round opponent.
The 19th edition of the Madrid Open got under way at Park Manzanares on Sunday and the venue is allowed to be at 40 per cent capacity.
Madrid is the most difficult event on clay for me, everybody knows that.Rafael Nadal
Nadal heads into the tournament on the back of his victory at the Barcelona Open, where he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in what was only the Spaniard's third event of the year.
The 34-year-old is now hoping for back-to-back titles as he continues his preparations ahead of the French Open, which runs from 30th May-13th June.
Nadal will be targeting a record-extending 14th title at the clay-court event, while victory would also see him move onto 21 Grand Slam titles and past Roger Federer.
The Spanish ace, who will take on either compatriot Carlos Alcaraz or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in round two after receiving a bye in round one, says he is looking forward to having the support of the home crowd.
"Madrid is the most difficult event on clay for me, everybody knows that," Nadal said, as quoted by firstpost.com. "But at the same time it is one of the most emotional events for me, playing at home.
"We are going to have a chance to play with a crowd again, so that means a lot to me. I am super happy to be back here."
Nadal is 2.00 to win his sixth Madrid Open title, while Austrian Dominic Thiem, who could meet the King of Clay in the last four, is available at 2.87 to lift the trophy.