Rafael Nadal calms injury fears ahead of Australian Open: ‘I will be ready’
Rafael Nadal has attempted to calm injury fears ahead of the Australian Open, insisting he is fit enough to win it.
The Spaniard endured an injury-plagued 2018 that finished with ankle surgery, and sparked concern when he withdrew from the Brisbane International last week.
However, he says he is ready to fight for the title in Melbourne, and he is in much better shape than he was last year.
“My hope is to win the Australian Open. That’s the hope, always,” the world number two told reporters.
“We’ll see how the things improve [with the injury]. And being honest, I feel myself playing well.
“I feel myself playing at a good level of tennis. And I feel myself with very high motivation to compete and to play.
On his withdrawal from Brisbane, he added: “It was terrible news for me that things were not the way that I planned.
But coming back from a period of time outside of the competition and coming back from a surgery, you know, there’s always a chance that this kind of stuff happens.
“It (the injury) happened in Abu Dhabi. But I really believe that I will be 100 percent ready for Melbourne.
“Last year, in my opinion, my situation was much worse.
“And I was in a quarterfinal winning two sets to one to be in that semifinal.
“I showed myself that I can be playing very well without competing for a while.
“I’m going to work as hard as I can, and I’m going to play and practice to do all I can to be 100 percent ready for Melbourne.
“For me it’s a big goal to be ready for there and I’m going to fight for it.”
More from Tennis365:
Second generation ATP Pro Ben Shelton taking stock after big season
Ben Shelton is the youngest of 13 Americans in the top 100.
Novak Djokovic ‘still No 1 player in the world’ and ‘heavy favourite’ for 2023 Australian Open
Novak Djokovic will be the man to beat at the 2023 Australian Open, says Aussie legend.
Stats from Iga Swiatek’s incredible 2022 season – featuring bagels and breadsticks from the Iga Bakery
Some great statistics from Iga Swiatek’s brilliant 2022 season.
‘Regular father’ Rafael Nadal on parenthood: ‘More tired, sleeping less’
Rafael Nadal on life as a parent.
Novak Djokovic looking ‘fresh’ and could extend career by a few years after 2022 debacle, says pundit
“I feel like he’s added another year or two to his career.”
Rafael Nadal beats Casper Ruud before teaming up with Gabriela Sabatini in mixed doubles
Some off-season fun involving Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud, Gabriela Sabatinia and Gisela Dulko.
Carlos Alcaraz has the ‘potential to achieve great things’, says Rafael Nadal
“Someone very special has arrived,” says Rafael Nadal.
Tennis influencer Rachel Stuhlmann making waves with huge social media appeal
Rachel Stuhlmann’s Instagram has exploded in popularity, with her 232k followers earning her the title of the No 1 tennis influencer.
Rafael Nadal jokes Casper Ruud will have to ‘call’ Novak Djokovic if he wants to change result of epic final
If you could change one result in tennis history, what would it be?
Andy Murray confirms first event of 2023 season with Novak Djokovic also expected to play
Andy Murray’s first event for 2023 revealed.