4/21/13 10:01 PM | Kelli DeMario
World No. 5 Rafael Nadal returns to competition for the last week of April, as the ATP World Tour makes a stop in Barcelona, Spain for the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The Spaniard looks to win his 8th title at the tournament.
World No. 5 Rafael Nadal is back on court following a runner-up finish at the Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo (lost to Djokovic). The 26-year-old Spaniard will be making his 9th appearance in Barcelona, having captured championship titles from 2005-2009 and 2011-2012.
"I think it was a positive week (in Monte-Carlo)," Nadal assessed. "I didn't practice in Mallorca, I just practiced here before the tournament. Without much preparation, I was able to play in the final. This week is going to help me be fit for the next weeks.
"I felt for moments in the second set, I played my best tennis of the week. So that's important. When I was doing that, I wasn't far off him. I need more matches to play with this intensity all the time. I need to be completely focused in every moment."
Nadal leads a competitive half of the draw that includes (3) Tomas Berdych, (6) Milos Raonic, (8) Kei Nishikori, (9) Jerzy Janowic, (12) Fernando Verdasco, (13) Benoit Paire and (14) Grigor Dimitrov. Additional players in the same section are Radek Stepanek, Tommy Robredo, Pablo Andujar, Grega Zemlja, Albert Ramos and former World No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko.
"Hopefully, I can play another great week in Barcelona next week (and) play some matches that will keep helping to put me in the 100 percent physical conditioning."
After a first-round bye, Nadal is scheduled to open his campaign against either veteran Carlos Berlocq or fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
Find the latest tennis odds at Unibet.com
|1. Djokovic||12 500 pts|
|2. Murray||8 750 pts|
|3. Federer||8 670 pts|
|4. Ferrer||6 970 pts|
|5. Nadal||6 385 pts|
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