Rafael Nadal: I don’t think I’m superior to others on clay

He has countless of records on clay, but Rafael Nadal has played down his success on the red dirt.

The Spaniard has won 10 French Open titles while he has also won the Monte Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open a record 11 times. He heads into this week’s Madrid Open looking for sixth title in the Spanish capital while he is also currently 19 matches unbeaten on the surface.

Unsurprisingly he is favourite to lift another trophy in Madrid come Sunday, but the 16-time Grand Slam winner says he’s “not worried about being the favourite player”.

“I don’t think that I am superior to the other players [on clay],” he said. “Maybe some tournaments have been better than others, but that doesn’t guarantee that in the future I’m going to be better than my opponents.

“I’m very happy for all the things that came. But right now I’m here in Madrid, in a very difficult tournament. I’ll try to be ready to play at the level that I need to play to be competitive and be ready from the first day that I’m going to play either [Gael] Monfils or [Nikoloz] Basilashvili. They are very tough opponents. I just need to be able to fight them. That’s the reality of it.

“Being favourite, I’ve talked about that to you and many people. Each time I’m favourite… I’m not worried about being the favourite player or not. I try to do things the best possible way, to be in shape. When I’m able to do this, well, it’s all fine. The day I’m not going to be worried about my shape or about my tennis, that will be the day when I won’t be successful any more.

“I just have to be ready in every single moment, be patient. That’s what I’ve done. I’ve always been very respectful of my opponents because each day it’s completely different when you go out there and play on a tennis court. You have to bear in mind that you can either win or lose.”