Rafael Nadal insists he will never intentionally skip major tournaments citing only a potential injury will stop him from playing the events he likes unlike Roger Federer, who decided to, for the second year in a row, skip the entire clay court swing of the season.

The Spaniard is currently preparing for his third round clash at the Monte Carlo Masters and has to defend his title in the Principality to remain ahead of his long-time rival at the top of the ATP men’s singles rankings.

Federer became the oldest world number one in the world following his triumph at the Rotterdam Open in February and indicated then he could play one or two clay court tournaments including the French Open. But following his loss in the second round at the Miami Open in March, he revealed his decision to skip the entire clay court season for the second consecutive year much to the disappointment of more than one tournament director.

The 36-year-old has maintained that he needs to play a limited schedule in order to remain fit throughout the year and ensure he peaks at the right time. Federer will return to action at the start of the grass court season in June with an aim to add a ninth Wimbledon Championship.

Nadal, meanwhile, says it is unlikely that he will ever skip an event on purpose, especially one of the major tournaments. Moreover, he is certain that he will not skip all the tournaments on a particular surface during the course of a season. Despite stating his reluctance to follow in Federer’s footsteps, the 16-time men’s singles Grand Slam champion admits that he could skip events in the future once he gets to the Swiss ace’s age.

“It is not in my plan, but I can't say 'never' because I cannot predict what's going to be in the future. When you get older, you need to adjust a little bit more the efforts and the calendar. But for me it is difficult to say I'm not going to play, for example, grass, or I'm not going to play hard,” Nadal said, as quoted by the Telegraph.

“There are tournaments that I can't imagine missing on purpose, because it is the tournaments that I love to play. So I don't see myself missing Monte Carlo on purpose. I don't see myself missing Wimbledon on purpose, or the US Open, or the Australian, or Rome,” he added.

Nadal’s clay court schedule will see him follow up his participation at the Monte Carlo Masters with appearances at the Barcelona Open, Madrid Masters and the Italian Open before bringing an end to his campaign on the red dirt at Roland Garros, where he will be one of the favorites to lift an unprecedented 11th French Open title.

Meanwhile, in the immediate future, the Spaniard could face a potential clash with Novak Djokovic if both the players win their third round matches against Karen Khachanov and Dominic Thiem respectively on Thursday.