• Nadal turns the page to Barcelona clay

    4/24/13 3:50 AM | Johan Lindahl
    Nadal turns the page to Barcelona clay Rafael Nadal turns the page to the Barcelona Open as the Spaniard looks to the home clay to ease the pain of a weekend loss in Monte Carlo.

    A day after his defeat in the final in the principality to Novak Djokovic in straight sets, Nadal was focusing on his duties at the Real Club de Tenis, where he makes his second-round start on Wednesday.

    Nadal has won seven of the last eight editions in the Catalan capital. He did well to hide his disappointment after going down to Djokovic, which ended his bid for an historic ninth straight title at the venue and 46 consecutive wins.

    While one golden run may have finished another possibly awaits as Nadal bids for more success at home. "I think I'm in the right way, five finals in a row," said the No. 5, absent for seven months in 2012-13 with knee injuries. "If you told me that four months before, I would be crying with emotion.

    "I'm just very happy to be able to play against the best players of the world another time, and play with real chances. That's very, very important for me, it's fantastic."

    Nadal has won four of the last five Barcelona editions, skipping 2010 with injury. He has also beaten this year's top seed David Ferrer in each of those trophy encounters. Ferrer, who missed Monte Carlo with a thigh problem, will be seeded ahead of his celebrated countryman for the first time and will surely hope to make the most of the situation.

    "Hopefully I can play another great week in Barcelona, play some matches that will keep helping to put me in the 100 per cent condition physically," said Nadal.

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Rafa spoilt us with his astonishing return, so we have to be patient that his return will take time.

nadline , 4/24/13 11:42 AM

Yes, but he didn't play Nole on his return, no?

samprallica , 4/24/13 12:53 PM

I thought he just played Nole this last weekend, doesn't that count as playing Nole on his return? I am sure you will be giving us the cut-off dates for the tournaments which count as Rafa's return and those which do not, @samprallica.

rafaisthebest , 4/24/13 1:25 PM

nadline , 4/24/13 11:42 AM

This has been the best start to a season, EVER, by Rafa. Any unbiased observer can see that he is not yet 100%, so in terms of his prospects, go figure.

I am so glad he won IW on his return, it shuts up the "oh, he has not won a HC tourny in yonks" chorus. I'd rather hear the "he is no longer the King of Clay" (because it's lame bs) refrain than that.

rafaisthebest , 4/24/13 1:31 PM

rafaisthebest , 4/24/13 1:25 PM

I meant before the match; when everyone was quite sure Rafa would be recording his 20th win over Nole.

samprallica , 4/24/13 1:32 PM

Oh alright, got you........

I was one of the "everyone" who was quite sure Rafa would be recording his 20th win over Nole. But, alas, it was not to be. And as night follows day, #19 is followed by #20.......unless Rafa never beats Novak hereon.......

We gonna see, no?

rafaisthebest , 4/24/13 1:42 PM

Yes, we shall.

samprallica , 4/24/13 1:48 PM

I don't see Rafa never beating Nole again. That's unreal.

Shireling , 4/24/13 2:31 PM

^^^We gonna see, no?

rafaisthebest , 4/24/13 2:44 PM

At last, someone honest enough to say why they want Rafa's seeding boosted for RG: top-seed-french-open/47176/#.UXfVLspRCDe

Choice quotes:

"In a conference call with the media today to promote his appearance partnering Pete Sampras in an exhibition match against Tommy Haas and Ivan Lendl at the second annual Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic, September 21-22, McEnroe said the fifth-ranked Nadal deserves top-seeded status in Paris. The 1984 French Open finalist suggests the top players would support a seeding raise for Nadal ? to save themselves from a potential quarterfinal clash with him."

rafaisthebest , 4/24/13 2:53 PM

Current ATP-rankings

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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