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Rafa Nadal says he’s feeling better daily as he prepares to defend his worldNo.1 spot at the Rolex Paris Masters

Rafa Nadal says the special feeling that being in the French capital always instills in him is spurring him on as he prepares to defend his world No.1 ranking in the Rolex Paris Masters event in Bercy this week.

The great Spaniard, addressing the world’s press at the AccorHotels Arena on Sunday, explained how he was slowly and surely recovering from the knee trouble that has kept him out of competitive action for nearly two months.

And the 11-time Roland-Garros champion declared his delight at being back in the city where he has enjoyed so much glory in his magnificent career.

“I just go day by day, no? I am happy to be here. I am having better feelings on court. I am practising a little bit more every day. And, yeah, trying to improve the positive feelings. That's all what I can say today, no?” Nadal said.

"Just happy to be on court again"

“This city so special for me. So that's little bit more motivation to be here.

“So, I’m just happy to be on court again and just happy to be practising with the guys here on tour. And I’m just looking for the next practice. That's all that I can say today.”

The 32-year-old is set to face either his compatriot Fernando Verdasco or France's Jeremy Chardy in the second round here on either Tuesday or Wednesday in a week that could see him toppled from his number one spot by Novak Djokovic, who will start the tournament just 35 points behind the Spaniard in the ATP rankings.

The two top seeds are scheduled to meet in next Sunday’s final.

After another intense practice session, Nadal revealed how he had been rehabilitating in familiar fashion since having to retire in the US Open semi-final in September.

Day by day

“I slow down a little bit the intensity of practice of course. I stopped for a while after the US Open so then I started to practise slowly,  step by step. And that's it. Here I am. Happy to be here.

“It’s nothing new for me. It’s something that happened in my career a couple of times. So more or less, we know the process and we know the things that work good and don’t work for us. And we try to do our way with calm and being staying positive every day.

“Knowing that the things are not changing very quick in this type of injuries. And that's it. We know that. We take care about all the feelings. And we go day by day.”

“I am not thinking about big improvements or big things. I am just thinking about small improvements, and that's the goal.”

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