Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal's Madrid Open start delayed due to a ear infection Reuters

Rafael Nadal's start at the Madrid Open has been delayed due to an ear infection, with the organisers pushing the Spaniard's match against Fabio Fognini to Wednesday (10 May).

The 30-year-old is back in training but was keen to have an extra day of recovery and practice before he took on the Italian in the second round. Nadal comes into the tournament as the favourite after winning back-to-back titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona in the last two weeks.

"I went to the doctor [on Friday] and he told me I had an ear infection. It's nothing important but it is bothering me, it has caused me headaches and I've been feeling dizzy," Nadal said during a press conference in Madrid, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

"Today I felt better and was able to train well for two hours. My aim and the tournament's was to start on Tuesday but after this it's better to wait a day and start on Wednesday."

The current world number five, can overtake Roger Federer to move up to four in the overall rankings and take the number one spot in the race to London with a run to the latter stages in the two tournaments – Madrid and Rome – leading up to the French Open, where he will start as the favourite to win his 10<sup>th title.

Nadal revealed that he is in a "good place" at the moment after making a strong start to the season. He has played in five finals thus far, but had to wait until Monte Carlo to win his first title. The Spaniard lost two finals — the Australian Open and Miami Masters — to Federer and one to Sam Querrey before picking up his first title.

"Right now I feel fine. I'm very happy because of the start of the year, not only because of the start of the clay season. I think in general it's been some very good months," the Spaniard was quoted as saying by ESPN.

"I needed to win a title after playing a few finals. I'm very happy for having achieved that," Nadal said. "I think what I have achieved in Monte Carlo and Barcelona is something great. It's something very difficult to do. But we are in another very important event here, and we have to leave that in the past."

"I think that I'm in a good place. I've been training and competing well for a couple of months, which is always important. You are always confident when you are in a good place," he added.