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Nadal Talks Racquet Change Before Madrid Open

Defending champion Rafael Nadal revealed he is going back to his old racquet just in time for this week's Madrid Open.

ATP: Nadal Awarded Honorary Degree in Madrid

In a press conference, Nadal said he made his decision after playing recent events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

“I played with this racquet for many years and I haven’t had long to get used to the new one. Even though I played well in Monte Carlo, I’ll have a little less control in Madrid because of the altitude. So I’ve decided to play with the old one until the end of the season and when the year ends I’ll train with the new one.”

Nadal is in search of his fifth Madrid Open title in what's been a turbulent season for him. He's won just one title so far and recently suffered losses to Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo and Fabio Fognini in Barcelona.

Currently ranked No. 4 in the world, Nadal expects to drop even farther in the rankings but doesn't let that concern him.

“It is clear that I am going to drop out of the top five. When that happens we’ll see where I end up. I’m not worried about that, it’s part of the sport. On other occasions I’ve been out injured for a while but managed to keep a high ranking by winning a lot of matches as soon as I returned. This time that hasn’t been the case.”

With all the recent uncertainty in his game, Nadal is looking forward to playing in front of the Spanish fans in Madrid.

“I’m sure the fans will help me. They always have done and I’m very grateful for that. But if you want the crowd’s support you have to give something back to them."

Nadal will play against American Steve Johnson later in the week.

Photo Credit: Madrid Open