This year Novak has a lot of advantages. He is in a perfect situation to be number one. I'm sure he'll be number one next month. He started the season playing unbelievably. In my opinion he didn't even play his top level in Indian Wells and Miami.
- Rafael Nadal talking Nole at his pre-tourney presser at the Monte Carlo Masters today
Rafa is not only the King of Clay. He's also the king of taking pressure off himself when it comes to his goals, long and short. In the same presser the Spanish southpaw admitted it will be difficult to repeat the feat he accomplished last year of capturing all clay Masters 1000s + Roland Garros.
I agree. It will be incredibly difficult to repeat, but if anyone can it's Rafa. I do see Nole breaking through, though, and winning one of the Masters. Maybe Madrid where the altitude will speed up the court just enough for Nole's liking. But will he become No. 1 in the next month? Anyone (who has an affinity for numbers and ranking points)?
P.S. Here's my runner-up quote. It's from the World No. 1 as well: "It's almost a year since I've played on clay. As usual, I try to watch videos (of myself) to remember what I have to do." Uh, can you remind Muzz the importance of watching yourself on video? And that's not what I'm talking about, Rafa. Keep it clean.
[Photo(s): Getty Images]