The most successful clay court player of all time – Rafael Nadal’s first match at the Mutua Madrid Open was delayed due to an ear infection. The Nadal Fognini Madrid Open clash was set for Tuesday but the organizers said that Nadal will play his opening match on Wednesday because of the ailment that has been bothering him since Friday.
Gunning to win his fifth title in Madrid, Nadal said that was facing troubles sleeping but has been cleared to play. Nadal further added that the infection was “nothing important” but was a “little bit painful.”
“I’m still practicing,” he said. “It really bothers a lot because (it) is pain all around and on the head. Sometimes you get dizzy a little bit with that. I think it’s better to start a day later, to start on Wednesday.”
Nadal is set to play Italian Fabio Fognini, who has three wins over the Spaniard, including one in the 2015 U.S. Open.
The fifth-ranked Nadal has won two consecutive titles on clay, the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open. His last title in Madrid was in 2014.
“Right now I feel fine,” he said. “I’m very happy because of the start of the year, not only because of the start of the clay season. I think in general it’s been some very good months.”
Nadal has made it to three finals this year before finally winning in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. “I needed to win a title after playing a few finals. I’m very happy for having achieved that,” Nadal said.
“I think what I have achieved in Monte Carlo and Barcelona is something great. It’s something very difficult to do. But we are in another very important event here and we have to leave that in the past.”
Next month he will try to win a 10th French Open title. The last of his 14 Grand Slams was at Roland Garros in 2014.
“I think that I’m in a good place,” he said. “I’ve been training and competing well for a couple of months, which is always important. You are always confident when you are in a good place.”