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PHOTOS/VIDEO: Rafael Nadal's Pre-tournament press conference at Miami Open 2016.
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) — Rafael Nadal says his return to the Miami Open brings back mostly good memories, even though he's 0-4 in finals.
Nadal enters the event for the 11th time Saturday, when he plays his opening match against Damir Dzumhur. The 14-time Grand Slam champion is seeded only fifth and hasn't claimed a title since August. But he has won 35 matches at Key Biscayne and is liable to hang around until next weekend, which would delight South Florida's many Spanish-speaking fans.
"I think I played well in my career here, no?" Nadal said Thursday. "It's a positive tournament for me. Only negative thing is I finally never win it. But the feeling, the atmosphere here is great. I enjoy being here. The fans here are amazing with me, so just enjoy."
"It's obvious that a tournament with Roger is always better," Nadal said. "It's good that it's a stomach problem and at the same time it is not the knee, so it's not a big deal. But it's obvious that it's terrible news for the tournament."
But Nadal said he's in a better place mentally than a year ago.
"I am enjoying the practices, I am enjoying the tennis court," he said. "I feel with the right energy. I can lose, I can win, but I am happy on court."
His favorite part of the year looms — clay-court season. So does his 30th birthday, but Nadal doesn't sound as though he's nearing retirement.
"I enjoy playing my sport," he said. "It's about love for the game, about passion for what I am doing, and I am going to be here until I am unhappy doing what I am doing."