Nadal confident of returning to best form

AFP

After a rare disappointment on the clay of Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal is confident he can rediscover his best form as he moves onto the grass ahead of Wimbledon.

Nadal, a nine-time winner of the French Open between 2005 and 2014, exited at the quarter-final stage this year, as Novak Djokovic dispatched him in three sets.

With Wimbledon set to begin later this month, Nadal moves onto the grass at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart this week, and is feeling in positive mood.

"I'm going to try my best," he said. "I arrived here as soon as I can and I tried to practice yesterday, I'll try to practice as much as I can tomorrow, and on Wednesday I'll try to be ready for what is going to be my first match.

"It's an important tournament for me. I've had success here in the past. It's a new tournament now on grass and the course looks great.

"[My aim is to] win as many matches as possible, that's all and it's always the same goal. I think that in the last couple of weeks I have been playing better.

"In the first three months and half of the season it's been very hard and very bad, but the last month has been better for me so I'll try to continue with that.

"I am enjoying tennis again and have been enjoying it again since last month, if not a little bit more I think. I'll just continue like this. I have an opportunity to play two weeks before Wimbledon this time and I hope that that helps too.

"I am here. I don't need to deal much with that [the French Open defeat].

"I accept that the first three months and half of the season haven't been good enough to ride with the confidence and the rhythm that I needed to play with.

"I think Novak, that day, had been better than me and I have to work hard; to improve my level of tennis, my level of intensity again on court, and if that happens, I am confident I can be back competing at the highest level."