Rafael Nadal will be "the toughest guy to beat" when the clay-court season begins later this year, believes Alex Corretja.
Nadal won a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open - just his second triumph at the event in his career - and one that came after a long lay-off with a foot injury.
The elite of men's tennis don't hit the dirt in earnest until April but when they do, Corretja believes Nadal will possess all his usual dominance, plus the mental boost of that win in Melbourne.
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Allied to that, his main rival Novak Djokovic may not appear at the culmination of the clay-court season - the French Open at Roland Garros - given the Serb's continuing decision to remain unvaccinated for Covid-19.
Eurosport's Corretja said: "After he won in Australia I think Rafa is in the mood, he's feeling so fresh and so ready to go and enter the clay-court season.
"He's someone with a lot of power, a lot of confidence.
"I don't think he's going to look at Novak's position. Because he knows that on clay he's the toughest guy to beat.
"Of course if Novak plays or not, there are consequences. There are consequences in the draw, there are consequences when you enter the tournament.
"But I think they [Nadal and Djokovic] are so good that they really need to focus on themselves. And then see what the others decide. But neither of them need to look across at the other, or whether Roger [Federer] is back or not.
"The most important thing for tennis is that all of them are playing. But of course, there are some other issues in the world that are impacting the situation. Hopefully all of them will be playing."
Nadal's next competitive outing will see him head to Acapulco to play in the Abierto Mexicano from February 21-26, while Djokovic is set to compete at the Dubai Tennis Championships which run from February 14-26.
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