MADRID • Rafael Nadal is optimistic that his performance in the Madrid Open this week will not be affected by an ear infection that he has been suffering since Friday.
The Spanish tennis player requested that his opening match in the tournament be postponed by a day to recover - which means he will face Italian Fabio Fognini today.
"On Friday I woke up at three in the morning with pain, a discomfort I had never felt before," the 14-time Grand Slam winner said. "I went to the doctor and he told me I had an ear infection.
"It's nothing important but it is bothering me, it has caused me headaches and I've been feeling dizzy. My aim was to start the tournament on Tuesday but it's better to wait a day."
Nadal is seeking a third consecutive clay-court title of the season after winning the Barcelona Open and Monte Carlo Masters.
The world No. 4 added that he is happy with his recent form.
"I think I have been playing well, not just on clay, but all year. I have felt good and I have had a few decent months, although I needed to win a title and that is what happened in Monte Carlo and Barcelona," he said.
"Now I am in a different tournament and it is special for me in Madrid, because I am playing at home once again."
Nadal also spoke about Novak Djokovic's decision to change his coaches in an attempt to end a poor run of form.
"I have never done that, although I have started working with Carlos Moya, who is well known to me and we are all happy working together," said Nadal. " I don't know how the decision will affect Djokovic."
The early session at the Madrid Open yesterday saw American Ryan Harrison knock out Australian firebrand Bernard Tomic 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 in the first round.
In the women's tournament, there were second-round wins for Australia 16th-seed Samantha Stosur, who prevailed over Colombia's Mariana Duque 6-3, 7-5, and China's Wang Qiang, who beat compatriot Zheng Saisai 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA