Despite beating Belarussian Ilya Ivashka in the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, Rafael Nadal has acknowledged that he may be a bit rusty after only playing eight games this season.
Nadal has never arrived at ‘El Godo’ as ill-prepared as he is this year after recording six wins and two losses all season.
“The truth is that I have played very little tennis,” said Nadal following his victory in the round of 32 tie.
In the 2008 season, Nadal arrived in Barcelona with 33 games under his belt and before this year, his previous lowest was 12 games in 2018.
A back injury has caused him to miss the ATP Cup, Rotterdam, Acapulco and Miami and, at the age of 34, it is proving to be more difficult to come back from injuries.
Nadal will face Japanese star Kei Nishikori on Thursday in the round of 16 to battle for a place in the quarter finals.
Unfortunately, as a result of playing so few games, Nadal finds himself in 18th place in the seedings, something which is usually unprecedented at the end of April.