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Nadal Talks Paris Masters Struggles, London Plans

By Richard Pagliaro

Rafael Nadal raised the roof at Roland Garros winning his record-extending 13th French Open title.

Now, Nadal is back in Paris trying to break through the championship ceiling.

More: ATP Finals To Play Behind Closed Doors

The top-seeded Spaniard will play for his 1,000th career victory when he faces Davis Cup teammate Feliciano Lopez in his Rolex Paris Masters opener.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is not defending his Paris title this week as he prepares for the ATP Finals in London starting on November 15th.

Nadal electrified the city of light dismissing Djokovic to win Roland Garros, but he's been short-circuited at the Paris Indoors. Paris, Miami and Shanghai are the only Masters 1000 titles missing from Nadal's massive trophy collection.

So why hasn't Nadal, who reached the Paris Indoors final in his 2007 debut, won Bercy?

The typically faster indoor court speed and lower bounce that does not reward his twisting topspin nearly as much as Roland Garros have been stumbling blocks in Bercy.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion says injuries and the fact the Paris Indoors is late in the season have also presented challenges.

"That's part of the game. In some places you have more success and others a little bit less," Nadal said. "Yeah, is true that of course at the end of the year in the past I arrived sometimes very tired physically and sometimes mentally, too. And at the same time in indoor courts I need to be fresh, I need to be in full conditions, no?

"Is probably the surface that I need to be playing better to try to have success. Is true that here in Bercy I had a lot of issues. I had to retire from the tournament a couple of times."

Tennis Express

Playing for his second career indoor title, Nadal also confirmed he will play the ATP Finals in London starting on November 15th. Nadal will set his sights on his first career ATP Finals crown.

"But in the world finals I have been there a lot of times in semifinals and final a couple of times," Nadal said. "I didn't win. It's a tough tournament to win, playing against the best players in the world under difficult circumstances.

"I don't know. I'm going to keep trying my best as I did all my tennis career and I hope to give myself chances."

Photo credit: Rolex Paris Masters