Monte Carlo Masters 2018: Alexander Zverev makes surprise Rafael Nadal claim

Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic

Last year, Nadal dominated the entire clay season winning his 10th title at French Open, Monte-Carlo and Barcelona.

The 31-year-old 16-time Grand Slam victor is the top seed for the tournament at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, which begins today.

The world No 4, who has two Masters 1000 titles to his name, has been handed a bye for the first round.

Nadal, who made his comeback from injury during Spain's recent Davis Cup victory over Germany, is among a field which also includes Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

The other two matches on Sunday saw Mischa Zverev defeat Felix Auger Aliassime 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-1, while Daniil Medvedev came from a set down to overcome Marton Fucsovics 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 7-5.

"I'm practicing well, I am playing with the right intensity I think", Nadal said during a media appointment, as per the Telegraph.

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Los vuelos de larga distancia no se verán afectadas, recalcaron. Además, se aceptarán devoluciones de tickets sin penalidades .

Rafael Nadal will return to the ATP Tour after an injury-enforced three-month absence at the Monte Carlo Masters, but coach Carlos Moya says he is struggling for confidence.

"That helps me. I love this event".

'I always feel good when I am here, ' Nadal added.

"It's hopefully going to be my first event of the year that I can finish".

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.

World number one Rafael Nadal playfully teased long-time rival Roger Federer for being "contradictory" by skipping the clay-court season for a second year in succession. But he is realising that he is getting older and the kilometres and matches are piling up. "I know I gotta keep mine", Djokovic said on Twitter this week. The 30-year-old consequently split with Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek earlier this month, with Djokovic stating he is looking for new ways to rediscover his form.

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