Rafael Nadal has been in superb form in 2017, reaching the finals of three tournaments which include the 2017 Australian Open, but the Spaniard has not been able to add trophies to his name. Out of the three finals he reached, he lost two to Roger Federer and suffered a surprise defeat to Sam Querrey in the finals of the Mexican Open.
After struggling for a number of years with a lot of injuries and inconsistent performances, Nadal finally looks like the player the tennis world is used to seeing. He might have not won any trophies so far, but he will definitely keep the current top four players on their toes as the tennis season enters the clay court tournaments.
Nadal is known as the master of the clay court and from 2014 to 2016, he won just nine tournaments which is one less than what he won in the whole of 2013. However, the point to note here is that out of those nine tournaments he won, seven were on a clay court. No matter how bad Nadal's current form is, beating him on a clay court is always going to be difficult for any player.
Nadal already has nine titles at Monte Carlo Masters and if he were to win it again, he would become the first man to win ten titles here and would also surpass Guillermo Vilas' 49 titles on clay court. While the Spaniard is not bothered much about breaking records, he is concentrating on the first clay court tournament of the season.
"I don't think about records, I think only that I am enjoying tennis. Of course Monte Carlo is a special place, one my favourite events where I won very much. Monte Carlo is unique for me, I'm here to adjust my game and be ready to play. The season has started well for me. I'm happy with how I'm playing," Tennis World USA quoted Nadal as saying.
"This is an historic event for me; I'm working to be ready. I'm excited to be here. I need hours on court remembering things: How to win point, how to defend. It's not because I've had a lot of success. Things are not that easy for me, especially when I've not played on it for almost a year."
"I think I'm doing well but I can improve. I'm happy playing tennis when I'm not injured and when I fell myself competitive. That makes me happy. I want to feel competitive enough to compete for the things that really motivate me," he added.
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are also set to return to the court at Monte Carlo Masters after they recovered from their injuries. The world number 1 and 2 have not had the best of years so far and Nadal could use this as an opportunity to win a few clay court tournaments as he looks to get back into the top four of the ATP rankings.
Nadal has not been able to defeat Federer in the three matches they have faced each other this year so far. But he could show just how good he really is if he can reach the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters where he could end up facing Djokovic and possibly Murray in the finals.