Rafael Nadal is quickly refocusing after his eight-year winning streak in Monte Carlo ended on Sunday.
Now he is turning his attention to winning an eighth title at the Barcelona Open.
Going into another clay-court tournament that Nadal has dominated, the Spaniard said he still needs to improve following a lengthy injury layoff before he's able to beat the likes of Novak Djokovic in a final. Djokovic defeated Nadal in Monte Carlo.
Speaking in Barcelona on Monday, Nadal said he was "neither angry nor sad" about losing the Monte Carlo Masters title, but "against the world No. 1 you can win or lose, and this time I lost."
Nadal says "I think I'm on the right track but missing things after all that happened."
Nadal has reached five consecutive finals since returning in February from a knee injury — winning three, and losing two.
When the top-ranked Serb won the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday, it marked the first time in nine years the trophy belonged to someone other than Nadal.
Nadal won his 46 previous matches and the last eight titles at Monte Carlo — beating Djokovic in last year's final — and his last defeat in the event was to Guillermo Coria 10 years ago. Nadal missed the 2004 tournament because of injury before winning his first Monte Carlo title the following year.
"I think he played a little bit better than me, especially in the first set," Nadal said. "I felt that I was playing really well the second set and I was having more chances than him."
Nadal has reached five consecutive finals since returning from a knee injury in February — winning three, and losing two — while Australian Open champion Djokovic won his third title of the year and 37th overall.
"I need a little bit more physical performance," Nadal said. "That's the real thing, to play all those points with the same intensity."
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.