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Rafael Nadal returns to old claycourt hunting ground

(Ah Fat Talk Ball) - Rafael Nadal's build-up to what he hopes will be another French Open triumph begins in earnest this week when the Spaniard returns to one of his favourite old haunts, Monte Carlo.

The Mallorcan world number one has been off the Tour since injuring himself at the Australian Open but looks to have recovered just in time for the European claycourt swing he has dominated throughout his career.

Nowhere more so than Monte Carlo where last year he became the first player to win the same ATP tournament 10 times.

Twelve months ago he went on to win a 10th Barcelona title and then completed La Decima at Roland Garros.

Any doubts about Nadal's physical condition were cast aside, however, when he won both his matches for Spain in last weekend's Davis Cup quarter-final against Germany.

His display against world number four Alexander Zverev was particularly impressive, winning 6-1 6-4 6-4.

Nadal will be chiefly concerned with arriving in Paris in tip-top shape but also in the back of his mind is the fact that his number one ranking is hanging by a thread.

Unless Nadal wins an 11th Monte Carlo title Roger Federer, who is skipping the claycourt season as he did last year, will return to the top spot without hitting a ball.








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