Rafael Nadal: ‘Djokovic and Murray are favourites to win big titles’

Nadal never won in Miami. When he thinks back at his results here, does he feel frustrated? ‘No, I don’t think a lot about that? I think I was four times in the final. Probably the closest I was to the title, was when I even didn’t get to the final. The year I got injured against Roddick in the semis. I was winning but then my knee felt bad and I lost. I was playing great that year. But in tennis is always the same. Life the same. You have opportunities and need to convert them. But I’m fighting for the things that motivates me.

With Djokovic and Murray injured, thinking to come back at the top of the rankings is not impossible for Rafa and Roger. But it’s too early to say it according to Nadal: ‘The year just started. We have nine Masters 1000s; we only played two. We have four Grand Slams; we only played one. We have a lot of 500 tournaments; we only played couple of them. So it’s true that Roger start unbelievable and that’s great. Is true that Andy and Novak didn’t start as well as they did before. But in my opinion, they are favorites because they have been playing more consistently than what we did.’

Speaking about his chances in the clay-courts season, Nadal said: ‘I know if I am confident enough I can play well and will be able to show my game. I am playing well this year, better than the last couple years. Roland Garros is still five tournaments away. For sure is an important event for me. But I know that to play well in Roland Garros I need to play well in the previous tournaments on clay.’

He finally spoke about Miami Open that might move to another place because the site of the tournament cannot be expanded. ‘I don’t know exactly. I cannot say things that I don’t know very well. It’s obvious that all the tournaments need improvement. So is true that we need more courts probably, but I don’t know the situation. I think the place is nice, beautiful, and will be great if that can stay here. The most important thing is the tournament stays in Miami. Miami is city well-known all around the world. Is important that we have our bigger tournaments in important cities.’

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