Read & Watch: Rafa Reveals What's Important For His Mental Health
The Spaniard is the second seed and will open his campaign against American wild card Jared Donaldson or Japanese qualifier Tatsuma Ito. Nadal said his second-round exit last week to Nick Kyrgios at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC is already off his mind and that he’s pleased with how his body has held up to start the season.
“I would have loved to win the Australian Open and Acapulco…but these things happen,” said Nadal. “I should not be unhappy after all I went through over the past four or five months.”
Nadal returned to action in January after sitting out four months with injuries to his abdomen, right knee and right ankle. Given his injury woes, he’s happy to simply be healthy and competing again.
“There are too many issues that have happened to my body over the past year-and-a-half, but I’ve managed it well to still be competitive and still be fighting for the most important events,” said Nadal. “This is an important part of the season for me…[so] that’s important for my mental health, too, to feel that I’m competitive when I’m ready to play.”
Nadal has enjoyed plenty of success at this event, having won three times (2007, 2009, 2013) and finished runner-up in 2011. While some people refer to this tournament as “the fifth Grand Slam,” Nadal said he believes the rich history of the event is worthy of being recognised on its own.
“This tournament is important enough to stand on its own name,” said Nadal. “I love not being in a big city and the calm we have out here in the desert. I love the views and the organisation here is one of the best."