Madrid Open title not a formality, insists Nadal
Rafael Nadal's utter dominance on clay may have seen him installed as the clear Madrid Open favourite but he says there are plenty of contenders for the title.
The world number one has won his last two events on the red dirt in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, racking up his 400th victory on the surface in the process.
He begins his campaign on Tuesday looking to win a sixth title in the Spanish capital and hold on to the top spot in the rankings.
Nadal is unbeaten in his last 19 matches on clay and has won the last 46 sets, but he is not taking another title for granted.
"I don't think that I am superior to the other players [on clay]," he told reporters.
"Maybe some tournaments have been better than others, but that doesn't guarantee that in the future I'm going to be better than my opponents.
"I'm very happy for all the things that have happened... I'm not worried about being the favourite player or not. I try to do things the best possible way, to be in shape. When I'm able to do this, well, it's all fine.
"The day I'm not going to be worried about my shape or about my tennis, that will be the day when I won't be successful any more.
"I just have to be ready in every single moment [and] be patient. That's what I've done. I've always been very respectful of my opponents because each day it's completely different when you go out there and play on a tennis court. You have to bear in mind that you can either win or lose."