Millennium Post

Winning run will one day end: Nadal

Rafael Nadal admitted on Monday that his incredible 42-match, 10-year unbeaten run at Monte Carlo will end one day, but he is in no hurry to see that day.

The 26-year-old Spaniard, who last lost on the clay of Monte Carlo as a fresh-faced 16-year-old when then-clay court king Guillermo Coria defeated him in straight sets in the third round, also claimed he is not the clear favourite he has been in the past.

Nadal is bidding for an unprecedented ninth straight title at the Masters event in the heart of the Cote d’Azur but says his recent seven-month injury lay-off means he cannot be treated as the all-conquering clay Cesar of old. ‘I cannot say I’m the biggest favourite to win here again,’ the Spaniard said on Monday as he prepared for his second-round start after a bye. ‘This is not an easy event to win. I don’t want to lose perspective, but I don’t want to lose either. Everything in life finishes sometime. Someday the winning will stop, not everything is forever. But I’m excited to be here, it is always a high motivation for me to play Monte Carlo,’ he added.

Nadal, who won the Indian Wells hardcourt Masters 1000 crown three weeks ago and then rested his troublesome knees on the advice of doctors, remains quietly confident of his abilities on clay, where he has dominated for a decade. Nadal isn’t happy to be continually fielding questions about the state of his knees or his perceived form. ‘I want to focus on the tennis day by day. I don’t want to talk knees, if I’m here, I’m here to compete. I will try my best and hope to play better each day.,’ Nadal said.
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