5/13/2018 11:22:38 PM

Nadal turns focus to Rome ahead of 11th Roland Garros bid

Nadal turns focus to Rome ahead of 11th Roland Garros bid

Rome: Rafael Nadal said Sunday he has already put his Madrid Masters defeat behind him as he targets an eighth Italian Open title in Rome before his French Open title defence.

The 31-year-old Spaniard suffered his first clay-court defeat in almost a year in a shock 7-5, 6-3 loss to Austria's Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Masters quarterfinals.

The defeat means Nadal -- who came into the tournament having won both Monte Carlo and Barcelona for an 11th time -- will lose his world number one ranking to Roger Federer.

"I repeat the same always. When I win, I don't talk much when I'm in the next events about the previous weeks," Nadal, who has a first round bye, said ahead of the clay-court Italian Open. 

"Okay, what happened last week was - forget it. And that's it. 

"I should have been playing better than I did. I know what I did wrong, and I'm gonna try to change that for this week. 

"I'm very happy about my comeback after the (leg) injury. And winning two tournaments, now quarter-finals and here is another opportunity to play well. So that's what I'm looking for."

Nadal defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets last year to win the French Open for a record 10th time.

Swiss star Wawrinka struggled on his return after almost three months on the sidelines, falling to a 6-4, 6-4 first round defeat on Sunday to 55th-ranked American Steve Johnson.

Nadal insisted that his Madrid defeat would have absolutely no impact on how he plays at Roland Garros.

"Of course, it would be much better to have the full pressure because I won all the matches. 

"But, you know, after 14 years being in the position that I have been fighting for, important things, I can lose, I can win. 

"Of course, the loss of last week doesn't help me for Roland Garros. And, of course, the defeat of last week will not go against my possibilities in Roland Garros," he added.

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