NexTV Africa & Middle East

Complete News World

Rafael Nadal before his return to the courts in Abu Dhabi: “I still suffer from internal fire”

Rafael Nadal, who returns to compete at the Mubadala Fair in Abu Dhabi, from Thursday to Saturday, will be hoping to get back to his best in time to put in a good performance at the Australian Open (17-30 January). The 35-year-old Spaniard, disabled for more than four months with a foot injury, has struggled with back pain this season and had to give up Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open. At a press conference in Abu Dhabi, he assessed his gradual return and gauged his ambitions, and already said to himself “Very happy to be there”. As for the possibility of becoming the first player to win 21 Grand Slam tournaments – he’s 20, and tied with Federer and Djokovic – he thinks the Serb, in good shape, has far more chances than him.

“I resumed step by step”

“It was a really tough time for me. I resumed training slowly, step by step, starting with fifteen to twenty minute sessions before increasing the duration as I progressed. I am very happy to be back here. It is a tournament I have played many times in my career and I have so many memories.” Beautiful I will be back after a long time without competition and I am very happy It was necessary to be able to deal with the pain Now I have to test myself in competition but if I don’t feel better I won’t be here Coming back won’t be easy I don’t have high expectations just being there There, playing again in front of a big crowd, feeling competitive again against great players and having fun!”

See also  TJ Parker, Asvel coach: 'We haven't seen our smooth game'

“Keep on being selective”

“I’ve been very selective in the tournaments I’ve been in for the past five years, which isn’t new to me, and I want to continue like this. Get healthy enough to be able to choose the matches I want to play and which I don’t want to play. I do everything to try to be I’m the best because I’m always excited and I always think I can play without limits. That’s the goal.”

“The chances of breaking this record are much higher for Novak”

“I’m not the one to decide who is the best player of all time. I’ve been out of it for five to six months. I understand that this topic is still on the carpet, especially around Novak. (Djokovic). He plays almost every week during Roger (Federer) I have been hurt for a long time. The three of us are tied up (All of them won 20 Grand Slam tournaments) But the chances of breaking that record are much higher for Novak than for us. He’s healthy, competitive and does a good job. We’ll see what happens in the coming months. If you come back, we can talk about it later. For now, my real goal is to be back healthy and competitive. “

“Australia? You never know what could happen”

“What level will I be in Australia? Experience has taught me that things can change very quickly and that no one knows what can happen in a month. My only goal: to be healthy and to play a championship before Australia. I want to stay there for twenty a day to be able to train.I did a great job at home,training well,correct behavior.Worked a lot on my physical condition.I was able to do all these things despite my feet so you never know what could happen.I know it will Tough because I only have one championship before Australia and two matches in Abu Dhabi, and I won’t have many hours on the court, in competition, but the main thing is that I still have the inner fire to go on and fight.”

See also  German League: Historic first half - Bayern destroy Leverkusen