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.”
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