Rafael Nadal admits he’s struggling after battling past Leonardo Mayer

Rafael Nadal practice

Rafael Nadal admitted he was struggling to find his best form after being taken to three sets by Leonardo Mayer in Barcelona.

The undisputed ‘King of Clay’ failed to defend his Monte-Carlo title last week and made a stuttering start this week too, dropping the first set to the Argentinian.

“It has been a tough start, not the best feeling this afternoon,” Nadal said after the match on Wednesday.

“I just found a way to keep going to win the match.

“He competed well against me and I was probably not competing very well.

“The attitude was correct and I worked to be able to continue in the tournament.”

Nadal’s win has set up a match against fellow-Spaniard David Ferrer, and it may be the last time the two meet on court in their homeland given Ferrer’s plans to retire this year.

“He is a good friend,” Nadal said. “One of the best players that we have been watching the last 18 years.”

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