Rafael Nadal has admitted that the loss in Monte-Carlo put him in his place and created doubts, but says he has recovered and has ‘great feelings’ in Barcelona.
Nadal was seeded third in Monte-Carlo, the first clay Masters event of the season, but after Daniil Medvedev had to withdraw due to a positive COVID test and Novak Djokovic suffered an early defeat, the Spaniard looked to be on course for his 11th Monte Carlo title.
However he came up against a formidable Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinal, who pulled off a shock result, having never beaten the Spaniard before, dashing Nadal’s dreams in the process.
Now Nadal is due to begin his quest for a 12th title in Barcelona and although he is feeling good he admits he was surprised by the Monte-Carlo defeat.
“If you are training well every day, when you play a match and do some things especially bad, it is surprising,” said Nadal.
“I knew what happened immediately. Losses, even if they are not pleasant or positive, put everyone in their place.
“I analyse details from every match, and I know that I need to improve certain things. It was a strange match. You can lose against a great player like Rublev, but I did some things wrong and that surprised me.
“Other times, when you’re not feeling great, playing bad seems logical. That wasn’t the case in Monte-Carlo, but it happened.
“You need to understand what went wrong to avoid making the same mistakes again. After any loss, the doubts always come.
“The key is to recover and that’s what I have been doing. I have trained with the right attitude to have great feelings to compete here (in Barcelona).”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?