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Ten-time Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champion Rafael Nadal is excited to continue a season that ended abruptly with a hip (strain to the iliopsoas muscle) injury at the Australian Open quarterfinals.

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The Spaniard, who takes a 63-4 lifetime record at Monte-Carlo, will face either Aljaz Bedene or Mirza Basic in the second round after a first-round bye.

He has not played a tour-level match since January but he did look fantastic in two Davis Cup rubbers last weekend, where he notched wins over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Alexander Zverev to propel Spain into the Davis Cup semifinals.

Nadal spoke about his game and his struggle with his most recent injury, ahead of main draw play on Sunday.

"I knew when I was going to be ready. The problem is that it takes time," the Spaniard said, according to AFP. "Australia was a tough moment, of course, being in that quarter-final, winning the match and having that problem, having a good chance. But I took the right time to have the right rest. I did all the things that the doctors told me. Then I felt great practicing in Acapulco, playing very well, but then just the day before... I felt it again. So that's the real thing.”

Nadal said that the most difficult time was when he showed up in Acapulco ready to defend his final points in February but had to pull out when the injury flared up again.

"For me mentally the second one was even harder than what happened in Australia, even if Australia was a Grand Slam and was an opportunity lost,” he said. "The second one was frustrating because I did all the things the right way."

Asked whether he could experience a recurrence, Nadal said: "Well it happened twice so you never know.” But Nadal ensured reporters that he considers himself to be out of the woods.

"Being honest, I am not practicing thinking about if that comes back or not,” he said. “I had injuries in my life, as you know, more than what I expected, but the good thing is that when I came back I was not afraid about what was going on."

Nadal owns a 391-35 lifetime record on clay, and he is 32-4 against the current top 10 on the surface.

He owns 53 clay titles, four more than Guillermo Vilas’ 49.

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