Nadal bids for Rome title with possible Djokovic clash looming
The seven-time champion insisted that he is focusing solely on his second-round clash with Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday, and not looking forward to a possible quarter-final against Novak Djokovic.
“I’m not playing Novak on Thursday. I’m going to play against (Philipp) Kohlschreiber. He’s playing great. He won in Munich couple of weeks okay and played semi-finals in Barcelona too,” fifth seed Nadal said. “He’s playing well and he’s a very good player on clay. I am worried about that now.”
Nadal won titles last month in Monte Carlo and Barcelona to start his pre-French Open clay campaign in the best possible way.
“My game is good, three tournaments, two victories (Monte Carlo, Barcelona), one semi-final. Tough tournaments, good victories, good matches. If I’m not happy now, I don’t know when I gonna be happy,” he said, after a training session on the Italian clay that plays similar to that of Roland Garros. Kohlschreiber has just a single win over Nadal - on the grass in Halle - against 13 losses to the Spaniard, with six of them coming on clay.
The 26th-ranked German beat Spain’s Inigo Cervantes in the Rome first round 6-4, 6-2.
Madrid winner Djokovic hopes he can maintain his excellent form this week as the French Open, the only Grand Slam title that has eluded him so far in his career, draws closer.