Rafael Nadal Jokes Roger Federer Is Avoiding Him On Clay

Rafael Nadal could face Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals next week

'It is as important as the grass or hard-court seasons'.

'But he again decided not to play at this time of the season, as it will be on clay.

Nadal, who missed the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Open through injury, could face Djokovic, a 12-time Grand Slam singles champion, in the quarter-finals.

"I still think he is the best player on clay and that he will always be the best player in history on clay", Federer said.

'I want Federer to play in Madrid again before he retires, ' Lopez said.

Roger Federer has defeated Rafael Nadal in their last five meetings, but none of them were on clay.

'He said that a couple of days ago - and I thought he would play Roland Garros.

Spain's Rafael Nadal plays against Spain's Albert Ramos Vinolas during the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament final tennis match, on April 23, 2017 in Monaco.

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Two weeks later the 36-year-old announced he will not be competing on the dirt this season, prompting a playful comment from his rival ahead of the Monte Carlo Masters.

Nadal has lost his last five matches against Federer, four of which came previous year, though none of the losses came on clay.

"It looks positive and if he doesn't have a physical problem he will have a great season". The 31-year-old last played competitively in the Australian Open quarterfinal in January before retiring in the fifth set with a hip injury.

Nadal, who made his comeback from injury during Spain's recent Davis Cup victory over Germany, is among a field which also includes Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

"I feel that I'm playing well".

The Spaniard has a bye for the first round and will open his tour clay court campaign against either Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene or a qualifier.

Thanasi Kokkinakis suffered an unlucky fall at the end of the clay court in his first-round loss to Karen Khachanov at the Monte Carlo Masters.

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