- Associated Press - Monday, April 21, 2014

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Top-ranked Rafael Nadal gets an immediate chance to shake off his surprisingly early exit at the Monte Carlo Masters by going for his ninth Barcelona Open title this week.

The Spaniard is hoping to recover his clay-court form after a quarterfinal loss to David Ferrer in Monaco, where the eight-time champion made his earliest exit since 2003.

Nadal acknowledged that his confidence is shaken following the Australian Open final loss to Stanislas Wawrinka, and says his state of mind “is what it is.”

Nadal said Monday that “I started the season OK except for some lack of confidence and competitiveness in important moments of certain matches.”

He added that “I’ve faced adversities throughout my career, and this is just another one.”

Nadal opens play later this week.

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