Rafael Nadal admitted he feels less in control of his own destiny at the Madrid Open, as he looks to add to a 19-match win streak on clay.
The world No. 1 has been in stupendous form on the dirt so far this season, reeling off 11th titles in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona.
Hes won his last 46 sets on his favoured surface – a run stretching back to his historic Roland Garros win last year – and he will chase a record sixth victory at the Caja Magica.
Though the top seed is the obvious favourite heading into the tournament, Nadal erred on the side of caution about his chances on home soil.
And he confessed that he feels less in control of matches due to the change in surface from Barcelona and Monte-Carl.
When asked how his practices had been going, he replied: I think that the feelings are getting better. They are improving. Its always the same thing here.
I think that I go through a process of adaptation. I have played a couple of tournaments before where I have played really well. In Barcelona I played very well in totally different conditions.
Here its completely different. In Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, you have the feeling that you are in control of the situation. Here, its different.
Here, its difficult to have the same feelings as in Barcelona and Monte-Carlo, especially the first days. It takes you time to adapt to how the ball bounces and flies. Its not under control like the other two tournaments. Everything is a little bit more difficult.
Day by day I keep improving. I have better feelings. Im happy to be back here. Its always special to play at home. Here, as I have said many times, the relationship that I have with the people, its very difficult to describe. Its a very, very special moment, a very special occasion for me to be able to play here.