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Fit Nadal ready for clay court challenge

April 17, 2012 12:30 IST

Spaniard Rafa Nadal confirmed on Monday he was fit to pursue an eighth consecutive victory at the season's opening clay court tournament in Monte Carlo after recovering from a recurrent knee injury.

The World No 2 had his right knee treated before the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami last month, where he reached the last four, but then pulled out of his scheduled semi-final clash against Andy Murray.

Rafael NadalNadal, who has suffered from tendinitis, said on Monday his knee was not painful anymore.

"The knee is well. I'm able to practise in the right condition and that's the most important thing today," he said.

"It seems like I'm able to practise with no impediments. But it needs time to see how it is when I play to the top level... when I put all my efforts on the knee."

The six-times French Open winner said he had missed a fortnight's practice.

"I started practising four days ago, it's 15 days off without a chance to practise physically because I could not move my knees," he said. "I need to spend time on courts, I need matches."

Nadal, who is aiming for his first title since last year's French Open, has a bye to the second round and will not be in action until Wednesday.

Photograph: Julian Finney / Getty Images

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