Nadal unfazed by packed schedule after Monte Carlo triumph

April 20, 2011 - 0:0

World number one Rafael Nadal insists he is fully prepared for a punishing schedule leading up to the defense of his French Open title at Roland Garos in a month's time.

The Spaniard had little time to celebrate his record-breaking victory over David Ferrer in the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday, before flying home to participate in the Barcelona Open.
Fresh from his landmark seventh successive Monaco title, Nadal has two more tournaments in the diary after Barcelona before he aims to claim a sixth title in Paris.
But despite his history of injuries, the 24-year-old claims he is fit and ready for a bruising lead-in to the second major tennis championship of the year.
""During the match I was more tired than usual. But in general it was positive,"" he told the official ATP Tour web site. ""That's important because these kinds of matches improve your condition physically and mentally.
""It's negative because you spent a lot of time on court, you have to run a lot on court, it's always tough for the body. But if you talk about
[what it does] mentally and physically, that can help a lot for the rest of the clay season.""
Nadal has played 17 matches in the last four weeks but is due to appear at masters events in Rome and Madrid after defending his Barcelona title.
The 24-year-old has a formidable record at the event he has won five times, tasting defeat just once in 25 matches, and says this is a vital period in shaping his season.
""That's the calendar. That's where I have to play my best, where I have to defend a lot of points,"" Nadal said. ""Indian Wells to Wimbledon is the most
[important] part of the season for me. These four or five months are decisive in my season.
""Every year I did a fantastic clay court season. I have to try to do it another time. With these four or five tournaments, if I am playing very well, I'm going to have the biggest chances to have enough points to try to be in the top position at the end of the year ranking.
""That's the top of my system in general. So I have to try. I am healthy now, so why not?""
Despite his victory in Monte Carlo, Nadal says there are areas of his game he needs to work on -- something he is aiming to do when he faces the winner of the first round clash between Daniel Gimeno-Traver and Potito Starace.
""I think I can improve a few things for next weeks,"" Nadal said.
""I am sliding less than usual on clay. It is easier to defend well when you are sliding, especially to the forehand. But I have two more days to practice for Barcelona. Let's see.""
(Source: CNN)