Rio de Janeiro - Rafael Nadal says he's free of "physical problems" as his clay court season starts next week in the Rio de Janeiro Open.
It's anyone's guess how the Spaniard will play, coming off illness and injuries.
He's the world's best on clay, winning nine of the last 10 French Opens. But he hasn't played since losing in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, and the Rio heat will be stifling. He also plans to march Sunday in an annual Carnival parade.
It was 38 degrees Celsius on Friday with the same temperatures predicted for next week. Nadal called the conditions "extreme with high humidity on top of that."
Nadal has also slimmed down, appearing lighter than he was when he won here a year ago.