Rafael Nadal eyes record 11th Monte Carlo title

Rafael Nadal eyes record 11th Monte Carlo title

That injury had ruled him out of last year's U.S. Open and this year's Australian Open.

"He knows me better than any tennis coach I've worked with".

Both players started the match pretty well, firing some impressive winners with this slowly shaping up to be an outstanding contest.

But with Federer once again skipping the claycourt season, former US Open victor Cilic believes becoming the world's best player is a realistic goal after an excellent start to the year. "Every match I win is very important", Nadal said, as quoted by ATP's official website.

"The reality is I've played six or seven matches since July".

If Nadal is to extend his record tally of Monte Carlo crowns, he will have to do it the hard way after being handed a difficult draw.

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The 31-year-old reclaimed the world number one spot at the end of last year and has continued to build on his steady progress battling back from an injury-ravaged couple of seasons.

Rafael Nadal will play his first match since the Australian Open, if you don't count the Davis Cup action. "So after two years, finally I can play without pain". The 30-year-old will now prepare to face Croatia's Borna Coric, who broke a three-match losing streak at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in beating 36-year-old Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-2, 6-3 in 65 minutes.Coric reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final at the BNP Paribas Open (l.to Federer) last month.

The most strenuous part about it all, Nadal argues, is the physical aspect of the shot clock, claiming that players will be much more tired during the points, taking away from their peak physical performance in front of a loud and eager crowd. "I had some good days of practice here, playing some good sets", Nadal said ahead of the start of the claycourt season. "Playing well below the desired level, it wasn't easy for me to cope".

Along the same lines, German star Alexander Zverev was also not too anxious about the new potential system, claiming that he already is one of the quickest people on tour.

-Tennis Channel Plus has multi-court coverage of the 2018 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters beginning Sunday April 16 at 7:00 AM ET, first to last ball!

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