Tennis News: Rafael Nadal on the Australian Open: After my injury, I don’t have high expectations

Tennis News
Source: Skysports

Tennis News: Rafael Nadal will enter the Australian Open with low expectations following his recent injury layoff, but he still feels he can compete for the sport’s top prizes.

The Spaniard returns to action on Friday at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships exhibition in Abu Dhabi, where he will face either Andy Murray or Dan Evans.

It will be the first time Nadal has played since losing to Lloyd Harris in early August in Washington, which was his first competition after withdrawing from Wimbledon and the Olympics.

The 35-year-old has been dealing with a left foot issue and knows he’ll have a long road ahead of him if he wants to get back to his best.

“I am really delighted to be back,” Nadal stated at a press conference in Abu Dhabi.

“Of course, I’m feeling much better; otherwise, I wouldn’t be here.” I understand that making a comeback will be difficult. I’m not expecting much right now.

“My sole expectation is to be here, to play in front of a big crowd again, to feel like I’m playing against great players, and then to relax and enjoy myself.” To be honest, it’s been a pretty trying time for me, so simply being here is fantastic news.

“I’m really hoping that my foot gets better and better so that I can get back to where I want to be.” If I can play without restrictions, I want to battle for everything again, thus that’s the goal.

“It’ll be quite difficult for me. If everything goes well, I’ll just play one tournament before Australia and these two matches here, so I won’t have a lot of time on the court at a competitive level before such a difficult and demanding tournament as Australia.”

With his 20th Grand Slam championship at Wimbledon, Djokovic pulled level with Nadal and Roger Federer at the pinnacle of men’s tennis, before almost missing out on a 21st in New York.

Djokovic’s participation in Australia, however, is in doubt because he has refused to reveal his vaccination status, despite the fact that everyone at Melbourne Park is required to be immunised against COVID-19.

“Both myself and Roger have been injured for such a long time,” Nadal explained. “Of course, we’re equal, but Novak has a far better chance than we do.”

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