Rafael Nadal aims to progress as far as possible in Barcelona Open, ahead of playing in Paris


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BARCELONA, Spain — Rafael Nadal is fully focused on progressing as far as possible in this week's Barcelona Open, which he refers to as his home tournament.

The eight-time former champion says he is wary of his first round match which could see him play fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro or Italy's Paolo Lorenzi.

Nadal, who is seeded second, behind defending champion Kei Nishikori, says Almagro is an "uncomfortable" opponent and "a great player, always a dangerous rival."

The clay specialist lost in the semifinals of the Monaco Masters to Novak Djokovic on Saturday, but says that competition had been the most positive week of the year so far and the match had given him "confidence and security."

Nadal says Barcelona is too important to him to be considered simply as training for Paris.

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