Rafael Nadal has played down his chances of winning a ninth Monte Carlo Masters title in a row, stating "everything in life finishes sometime".
The Spaniard has won 42 consecutive matches in Monaco and is well fancied to continue that run into next year.
Nadal goes into this year's event on a high after an excellent comeback from a serious knee injury. He has performed as if he has never been away in winning tournaments in Sao Paulo, Acapulco and Indian Wells.
However, rather than get carried away with his form, the 26-year-old is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
"I cannot say I'm the biggest favourite to win here again. This is not an easy event to win. I don't want to lose perspective, but I don't want to lose either," said Nadal.
"Everything in life finishes sometime. Someday the winning will stop, not everything is forever. But I'm excited to be here, it is always a high motivation for me to play Monte Carlo."
The 11-time Grand Slam champion has not featured since he won the BNP Paribas Open on hardcourt four weeks ago. He has been resting his troublesome knees on doctors' advice.
The clay-court king is still ranked as the fifth best player in the world after missing a large part of last season. He insisted he is more concerned about his recovery than his ranking.
"You can't be in the top four if you did not play for seven months. I've always gone day by day and just want to try and keep improving," added Nadal, who received a bye in the first round in Monaco.
"I'm always excited to be back here and have the chance to work hard and try to win. Now my job is to try and play well."
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