Rafael Nadal hoping to find some rhythm after ‘tough year and a half’
His knee is feeling “quite good”, but Rafael Nadal admits he is not sure about his form heading into the clay-court season.
The world No 2 has once again had a disrupted start to the year as he competed in only three events – Australian Open, the Mexican Open and the Indian Wells Masters – so far this campaign.
However, even at Indian Wells he was unable to finish the tournament as he was forced to withdraw from his semi-final against Roger Federer due to a knee problem.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner, though, is set to make his return at the Monte-Carlo Masters on Wednesday, but he concedes it is tough mentally to produce so many “comebacks” due to injury.
“It has been a tough year and a half for me, so it’s tough to have a clear view about how I am,” he said.
“I had too many stops; I didn’t find a way to play three weeks in a row without problems. So it has been hard for me. When you have these things going on, on the mental side it’s up and down. It’s always like a comeback.”
He added: “My knee is quite good. Happy for that. Now I need to work on the tennis. I hope the competition puts me in the rhythm I need.”
As always, though, Nadal is keeping his chin up as he has struggled with injury throughout his career.
“At some point, even if I appreciate everything this sport has given to me, sometimes it’s tough to accept when you have problems in a row,” he said. “Since the beginning of the season again it has been tough. You need to be strong mentally and keep the passion very high.”
More from Tennis365:
Jack Draper beats Jannik Sinner at Queen’s to secure first ATP Tour singles win
Draper won two tie-breaks in a surprise 7-6 (6) 7-6 (2) victory.
Wimbledon still in discussions over crowd capacity and Covid-19 protocols
Discussions are continuing over whether Wimbledon can have a capacity of greater than 25 per cent.
Exclusive – Judy Murray on how the game’s ‘Big Four’ are still ahead of the pack
Murray believes the ‘Big Four’ in men’s tennis have displayed a drive and desire that has allowed them to stay ahead of the chasing pack.
‘Time for next generation’ – Judy Murray planning to step back from tennis roles
The Scot will be at Queen’s Club to support sons Andy and Jamie.
Andy Murray felt ‘a bit jealous’ watching Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s epic French Open semi-final
Murray faces France’s Benoit Paire on Tuesday at the Cinch Championships.
Andy Murray issues less than certain fitness report ahead of his return to action
Andy Murray set for singles return, but not 100%.
Exclusive – Greg Rusedski on the big question Andy Murray has to answer this week
Greg Rusedski believes Andy Murray has one big question to answer.
WATCH: Boy goes berserk after Novak Djokovic gifts racket to him as thanks for ‘coaching’ him during match
“He was coaching me, literally,” says Novak Djokovic.
‘I’ll keep on going. I’ll keep on chasing,’ says Novak Djokovic as he sets his sights on history
World No 1 will bid for a sixth title at the All England Club and third in a row.
‘People like her make you come alive’ – Stefanos Tsitsipas’ poignant tribute to his grandmother who died minutes before final
“This is entirely dedicated to her, and only her.”