Rafael Nadal has said it is vital for his confidence that his troublesome foot shows signs of improvement in Toronto.
The Spaniard returned to action for the first time since losing his French Open title in June, when beaten by Lloyd Harris in the Citi Open in Washington.
Nadal will continue his preparations for the US Open with an appearance in the National Bank Open, an event he has won on five occasions.
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A sixth title in Canada would be a welcome boost for Nadal, but the world number three says the bigger goal is to play pain free.
“I am going day by day,” Nadal said. “The main thing is to try and feel I am improving and feel I am playing better and better, which is the goal at this tournament.
I need to have a couple of weeks with less pain to have the confidence again with my movement. I am coming here to try and win, but also to keep feeling positive with my foot.
“I am not at my peak yet, but I have been practising better than I played in Washington, so I am excited to play here. Hopefully, I will be able to compete well.”
It has been a tough year for the 20-time grand slam champion, but there were positive signs in Washington.
“Last week in Washington, the first round was tough with my foot, but in the second round, I felt a little bit better,” Nadal said. “Even if I lost, that is a positive thing for me.
“It is about trying to find the routine again on court. Trying to be competitive again. I need to have the feeling of playing a few days in a row without any problems.”
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