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Weakened by Virus, Nadal Says He'll Play Madrid

Battling a stomach bug has left Rafael Nadal feeling depleted, but won't prevent him from playing his Madrid opener.

The second-ranked Spaniard says he's starting to regain his strength as he recovers from a stomach virus and plans to play his Madrid opener against talented Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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"I’ve been going through a virus," Nadal told the media in Madrid. "The positive side is: I’ve been able to train at least an hour-and-a-half (daily).

"I hope that tomorrow is going to be a bit better, I’m going to improve. I’m a bit better than yesterday and yesterday was better than the day before.”

The 11-time Roland Garros champion said he's not yet 100 percent fit, but does not believe the illness will impact his performance.

“It’s true that when you have this virus and stomach viruses, the body’s a bit weaker," Nadal said.  "There is a bit more risk of injuries. But of course, this is a very important tournament for me and I hope to be ready.

“Hopefully the virus is not going to affect my performance or how I should play tomorrow.”

Photo credit: Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Facebook