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Nadal: "I didn't want to be out of competition for too long"

Speaking on arrival in Buenos Aires to defend his title, the Spanish world number five said he was feeling good physically and happy to be back.

Rafa Nadal.

Rafael Nadal said ahead of his first clay court tournament of the season that he had decided to accept a wildcard to compete in Buenos Aires because he didn’t want to go too long without playing after his first-round exit at the Australian Open.

“I made the decision [to play in Buenos Aires] very quickly,” the world number five told reporters on his arrival in the Argentinean capital. “I lost early in Australia and I didn’t want to be out of competition for too long.”

Nadal will make his debut on either Wednesday or Thursday against Juan Mónaco or Marco Cecchinato. “Last year I had a very good experience here, unforgettable, so I’m happy to be back here again. These are things that happen in draws, I hope it is the case,” he said of the chance to play his friend Mónaco, who he defeated in last year’s final.

Nadal, who has won 67 titles including 14 Grand Slams, added that he feels physically fine ahead of the ATP 250 tournament and that he enjoys the atmosphere at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club. “The affection of the people of Argentina is very special.”

Also in the field in Buenos Aires are world number six David Ferrer, world number nine Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 12-ranked John Isner.


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