Nadal to use old racquet

Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, changed racquets just before the start of the European clay court season a month ago, normally his most successful part of the year.

However, after losing to world No 1 Novak Djokovic in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters and suffering a shock early exit at the hands of Fabio Fognini at the Barcelona Open a week later, the Spaniard believes it is better to make a change at the end of the season.

“I’m changing because I’ve been playing for many years with this racquet. I had very little time to play with the other one.

“I know that the other racquet is the right one, and I’ll play well with it in the future, but I had just a few days to prepare with that racquet before Monte Carlo. Even though I played pretty well in Monte Carlo, I know that here we play at altitude and I have less control with the new one.

“I am going to play with the old one until the end of the season when I have enough time to train with the new prototype and time to adapt to it.”

Despite his struggles this season, Nadal remains the favourite for a fifth title at the Madrid Masters this week with Djokovic missing out to rest up ahead of next week’s Rome Masters and the French Open later this month.

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