Rafael Nadal says he does not see his stints at Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Madrid as preparations for the Roland Garros and that these tournaments are important for themselves.
The 14-time Grand Slam winner created history on Sunday when he became the first man in Open era to win 10 tournament titles as he decimated compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-3 in the title match of 2017 Monte Carlo Masters, that went on for just 76 minutes.
Nadal revealed that yesterday was a very important day in his career and that he also felt unbelievable after winning 10 titles at an "important event like Monte Carlo". With the win, the 33-year-old also became the first man to win 50 titles on clay and took his career title tally to 70.
The world number five is also on his way to 10th titles in Barcelona, starting today, and at the French Open, starting 22 May.
"I never take Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid like a preparation for one tournament. These tournaments are so important for [themselves]. Then Roland Garros arrives later. Is difficult to think about Roland Garros now," Nadal said, as quoted by ESPN.
"The next step is not Roland Garros. The next step is Barcelona. That is the real thing. Today is a good start of the clay court season."
After ending the 2016 season early due to wrist injury, Nadal returned to action with a stunning run at Australian Open, in which he finished as runner-up following loss to Roger Federer in a hard-fought title match. Acapulco and Miami finals appearances followed, but the Spaniard was not able to cross the final hurdles.
However, on the red dirt in Monte Carlo, Nadal looked unstoppable. He dropped a set in the opening round against Kyle Edmund but has been untroubled since then, decimating the likes of Alexander Zverev enroute to the title match, which was heavily one-sided.
"Win 10 times in such an important event like Monte Carlo is something difficult to describe the feeling. Yeah, is a little bit of luck; lot of things together should happen to make this 10th title in an event like Monte Carlo," the Spaniard added.