The Spaniard, a 53-time titlist on the red surface, has won at the Monte Carlo Country Club a remarkable 10 times and is bidding for a record-extending 11th success, the Sunday Express reported.
With Roger Federer absent, the world No. 1 is the standout attraction and has admitted he is relishing his return having not played since the Australian Open in January because of a hip problem.
After pulling out of planned appearances at Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami, Nadal appeared back to full fitness as he helped Spain to a Davis Cup quarterfinal win over Germany with wins over Alexander Zverev and Philipp Kohlschreiber earlier this month.
The 31-year-old said ahead of the tournament, “I am eager to start playing, since I have only played one tournament this year, in Australia, but I retired.
“So it feels like I am starting not just the clay season, but the 2018 season.
"I always feel good when I am here, it is one of my favorite tournaments.
“It’s been a love story between me and this event, the people who run the tournament."
But Nadal is not the only big name at the Masters 1000-level event with Novak Djokovic, a two-time Monte Carlo winner himself, also making a return.
The Serbian has lost his last three matches – his worst run of form for 11 years – following lengthy injury struggles and is looking to rediscover his confidence ahead of the French Open in May after a recent backroom team overhaul.
Elsewhere, the likes of Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem will all fancy their chances of derailing Nadal’s clay dominance on the French Riviera.