Rafael Nadal
Nadal has won the Monte Carlo Masters on nine occasions Reuters

Rafael Nadal says he is "more worried" about his knees than his wrist ahead of the clay season and admitted that it will not be easy to win titles, despite achieving a lot of success on clay surface in the past.

The Spaniard has won the Monte Carlo Masters on nine occasions and is also the defending champion, having defeated Gael Monfils last year. He has also the nine-time French Open winner and his hope of winning it for the 10th time in 2016 took a blow when he was forced due withdraw due to a wrist injury.

It was his second wrist injury in two years and has not won a title since recovering from the injury. He has made it to three finals in Melbourne, Acapulco and Miami and has lost all three of them.

Nadal has explained that his immediate focus is to make sure not to pick any injuries for the clay season in order to improve his chances of winning his first title since April 2016.

"I am much more worried about my knees than about my wrist. I believe the knees are more dangerous for me than the wrist. The wrist injury was an accident," Nadal explained, as quoted by the Independent.

"I have had two problems in the wrist – 2014 and then last year – and both times it was down to a bad movement. It was not something that was going on and getting worse and worse. It wasn't the same sort of injury as the knees."

On his preparation for the clay season, Nadal said: "I need time, I need hours on court. I need to remember how to win points, how to defend, how to move, which balls I can go for and which I cannot. It is a process and it is not automatic."

"Even if you might think it is natural for me because I have had a lot of success on this surface, things are not that easy, especially when you have not played on this surface for nearly a year. It takes time to adjust your game, to play differently to the way you play on other surfaces."

Kyle Edmund defeated Dan Evans in straight sets at the Monte Carlo Masters on 17 April. He will now face Nadal in the second round clash, which will be the latter's first match of the tournament.