Rafael Nadal has played like an elite tennis player the last two ATP tournaments but Stanislas Wawrinka believes that World No.1 Novak Djokovic is still too good for the field and for Nadal saying that the Serb remains the top favorite in the upcoming tournaments in the tour.
“Rafa played very well in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He played well enough to win these two titles, it will be interesting to see how he plays in the next three weeks at Madrid, Rome and Paris. He is the no. 1. He won many titles and it’s difficult to beat him,’ Wawrinka said in the press conference at the 2017 Mutua Madrid Open.
Rafael Nadal improved to 22 wins against 6 loss in the 2016 tennis season highlighted by back-to-back titles at the Monte Carlo Masters where he defeated Gael Monfils in the finals, 7-5 5-7 6-0 and the Barcelona Open where he beat Kei Nishikori in the finals, 6-4 7-5.
This was considered an unlikely rise for Rafael Nadal, who admitted to struggling both mentally and physically on the court in the last two seasons.
Meanwhile, Wawrinka said that he is preparing to defend his title at Roland Garros and will use the next two tournaments to ready to win the French Open again. Wawrinka denied Djokovic in winning his first clay court Grand Slam last year after the Swiss beat the Serb, 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 in the championship round.
“It will be special to comeback in Paris. Pressure exists every year in Paris. I put myself through the pressure of playing well and it will not be different this year. I have to be focused to doing well in the next three weeks because I want to achieve a great result”
The tennis season continues for Wawrinka, Nadal, Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray and the rest of the elite players as they participate in this weeks ATP tournament in Madrid, Spain.
Photo courtesy: Valentina Alemanno/Wikimedia Commons