After crushing world No. 4 David Ferrer in the Acapulco final, Rafael Nadal confirms that he will play the Masters Series tournament at Indian Wells next week and believes that he is close to an elite level again.
For the first time since his comeback from knee trouble last month, he will join the world’s top three — Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray — in a tournament when he heads to the California desert after playing Juan Martin del Potro in the BNP Paribas Showdown exhibition in New York City on Monday night.
"If you ask me if I'm capable of beating one of the top three it would be difficult, but today I beat the No. 4 in world and the difference... between No. 3 and No. 4 isn't much,” Nadal told reporters. “Ferrer is one of best, most complete players in world."
The seven-time Roland Garros champion, who called his performance against Ferrer one of the best he has ever played on clay, said he needed to play near perfectly because if not “he is going to dominate me.”
Nadal revealed he decided to take the same approach to the Acapulco match that he did in the 2012 Roland Garros semifinals when he crushed Ferrer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.
"I didn’t think I was ready for that level, but I was ready to fight, and enjoy it," he said. "Matches like today make me believe I can play at the level I played last year at Roland Garros."