The king of clay, Rafael Nadal, will be eyeing a record 11 title at the Monaco Master’s Tennis Tournament in Monte Carlo. The ATP Master’s 1000 event is the opening European clay court tournament of the European season.

Nadal returns to the Monte Carlo not only to defend his title. The Spaniard also has a chance of becoming the first player in the open era to claim victory at a tournament 11 times.

“ For me it is the same every year. I’ve come here with the same passion, the same motivation to play the best and give myself the chances to have the best result possible. This year I haven’t finish not even one event yet, so hopefully this one will be the first,” said Nadal.

The top-seed is arguably one of the most prolific clay court specialists in modern tennis, but he has not played in a big tournament since retiring with a hip injury during his Australian open quarter-final against Marin Cilic in January.

The 31 year-old did however win both his matches for Spain in last weekend’s Davis cup tie against Germany.

Nadal will start his campaign against either Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia or Mirza Basic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.