With the clay court season going on and the Roland Garros just around the corner, Rafael Nadal has also found his form by winning his 12th Barcelona Open title recently. He is now aiming for the Mutua Madrid Masters where he will be aiming to tie Novak Djokovic’s all-time record of winning 36 Masters 1000 titles.
Ahead of the start of the Madrid Masters, another home favourite Pablo Carreno Busta shared his perspective regarding compatriot Rafael Nadal. Busta claimed that although Nadal is not in his best shape due to the break he took after the Australian Open, he can still be the player to beat in this event. He also called him the best player ever on clay courts.
“Although he is not at his best level, because it has been very, very high and it is not easy to maintain or recover it, because he had not played since Australia, Rafa, especially on clay, is the best player there is right now and there has been in tennis history,” said the World No. 12.
Carreno Busta himself has had a hard time facing Nadal as he has lost all of his eight matches against ‘King of Clay’ and five of the matches were on clay courts which also includes this year’s Barcelona Open semifinals.
Therefore he said that it is not easy to go up against Nadal and according to Carreno Busta, the 20-time Grand Slam winner immediately becomes a favourite on clay courts whenever he enters an event.
“It is very difficult to play against him,” Carreno Busta added. “You must be very clear about the weapons and (play) a very round match to be able to hurt him and hope that he is not at his best level. He’s a favourite for all clay-court tournaments. He is always counted for the title.”
These quotes are cent percent true as the 34-year-old has an exceptional record of winning 13 French Open titles till date and he would like to add more to the tally. He has also won 25 Masters 1000 titles on clay courts. However the event in Madrid has been a lot different from the others and though he is a five-time winner of the event, the high altitude and the weather does not suit the game of the 34-year-old Spaniard.
He last won the tournament in 2017 and this year he will be eager to break that jinx and win it for the sixth time.