"Madrid the most difficult event for me" says Nadal ahead of Madrid Open opener
Rafael Nadal did not have a very good run at the Monte-Carlo Masters which was the first clay event he played in 2021. He rebounded nicely in Barcelona winning the event by beating a very inspired Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. On that run he said:
“Barcelona [was] an important week for me. Without playing my best since the beginning, I was able to be passionate, to stay positive and to accept the challenge [and] try to win matches without playing my best. I was able to achieve another important title in my career. That's important for my confidence."
Nadal has had difficult defeats in Madrid before and speaking about the event in general he admitted to it being a difficult one for him:
“[Madrid] is the most difficult event [on clay] for me, everybody knows. 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."
Despite the conditions working against Nadal, he is hopeful for success here as his mindset is always the same. Speaking on his mindset going into the event he said:
“My mindset is always the same. Arrive to a tournament, have the right preparation, and try to be ready to compete at the highest level [from] the beginning.”
As a seeded player, Nadal has a 1st round BYE with a possible 2nd round matchup against Spanish phenom Alcaraz or French veteran Mannarino.