MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal is adopting a philosophical approach at the Madrid Open as he tries to recover from back-to-back quarterfinal exits at clay court events he once dominated.
Bidding to defend his title in the Spanish capital, the top-ranked Nadal downplayed his earlier exits at Monte Carlo and Barcelona and called his previous dominance there "not normal."
Nadal is an eight-time winner at both Barcelona and Monte Carlo.
Nadal says "Maybe it's normal to lose ... in the quarterfinals. Maybe what's not normal is what happened during the past nine years."
After a bye, Nadal will open his Madrid title defense against the winner of the first-round match between Jurgen Melzer and Juan Monaco.