Rafael Nadal ‘feeling good’ ahead of Rome title defence despite lack of trophies in 2019

Rafael Nadal practice

He is yet to collect a trophy in 2019, but Rafael Nadal insists he is not too downbeat about his form and is ready to defend his Italian Open title.

Many expected the King of Clay to once again dominate the red dirt tournaments, but he failed to reach the finals of three of his favourite tournaments as he exited the Monte-Carlo Masters, Barcelona Open and Madrid Open at the semi-final stage.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner, though, is unperturbed by his lack of trophies so far, adding he is looking forward to playing well in Rome, his last tournament before Roland Garros.

“Sometimes winning a title or not doesn’t make a big difference. I didn’t win a title. It’s true I missed a couple of tournaments,” he said.

“At the same time it’s true that when I was playing, I was close to winning it. I didn’t play good enough to win, but I didn’t play very bad. I am there.

“I have been in… four semi-finals in a row, since Indian Wells. But that’s it. That’s tennis: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

“It’s true that I lost a couple of matches that, playing good, probably I will win. But that’s how it works.”

He added: “I am feeling good. I’m happy to be back here in Rome. I took a day off [Sunday]. I had a good sleep tonight. Just excited to be back in this special place for me. Try to have a good practice this afternoon, and let’s see if I am ready to compete at the level that I want to do.”

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