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'I am good, I am confident and I am playing well,' says Rafael Nadal ahead of Monte-Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal fist pump Australian Open

Rafael Nadal says his body is in great shape and he's feeling confident and playing well ahead of his first Monte-Carlo Masters match.

The Spaniard has not played a competitive match since his Australian Open quarterfinal exit two months ago when he lost a two set lead to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal had been suffering with a back injury which saw him miss the entire ATP Cup and during his break, he was leap-frogged by Daniil Medvedev in the ATP rankings, knocking him down to third place.

Although seeded third at the Monte-Carlo Masters for that reason, Nadal's record at the event is breath-taking, previously winning the title eleven times.

Winning 71 of his 76 matches at the event, Nadal holds an Open-Era record eight successive titles from 2005 to 2012 and a further three straight crowns from 2016 to 2018.

Despite the two month break, Nadal sent a clear message to his opponents ahead of his first match, saying that he is well prepared and excited to play at one of his favourite venues.

“I am good. Honestly, I am confident. I am playing well,” said Nadal.

“I [have been] practising well [during the past] couple of days here in Monte-Carlo before the tournament starts. I feel ready.

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“It’s true that I didn’t play much. At the same time, [it] is true that I had good success in the past without playing much.

"My mindset is the same as always. I just try to be ready… Going day by day. Tomorrow, [I have] another practice. I [am] just trying to be ready for the first match.”

“I love to play on clay, but I love to be here, [and at] Barcelona, Madrid, Rome [and] Roland Garros,” said Nadal.

“I love these events… I will have the chance to play in places that I know very well, places that I have a great story with [at] every single event. For me, that’s important. [I am] just happy to enjoy another experience, another opportunity for me to compete in these historic places of our sport.

“[I] arrive [at] an important part of the season for me. I think I did the right work to be ready, so let’s see. [I still have] a couple of days of practice here, but [I am] happy [with] the way that I am playing.

“For the moment, my body is in good shape. I am excited about playing here in Monaco again, Monte-Carlo. As everybody knows, [this] is one of my favourite tournaments without a doubt. I love being here.”

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