Rafael Nadal insists he has to be ‘humble’ on injury return in Madrid

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal has said that while he wants to give his all to win the Madrid Open his injury situation might force him to be ‘humble’.

Speaking on his preparation for the Madrid Open, Nadal says that he has fully recovered from his hip complaint but admitted he was short on match fitness and had to be careful with his rib niggle.

Third seed Nadal has a first round bye in Madrid and will face the winner of the Round of 64 match between Alexander Bublik and Miomir Kecmanovic.

“I’m feeling good in terms of the hip,” Nadal told Eurosport.

“That’s recovered so now is the time to try to recover the tennis and physical performance.

“That takes some time so I am here to try to be better and better every day.”

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal with Novak Djokovic during practice at the Madrid Open.

Nadal admitted that it pains him to come into an event like the Madrid Open cold and having to take a pragmatic approach to the event.

“Unfortunately, I never take these kind of events like preparation for anything else because I really thought that every event in this part of the season is so special.

“It’s part of the history of our sport, but this year I need to accept that this year is a bit different in terms of the situation.

“I have been out for more than a month and a half. The amount of practices I’ve had are just a few, and in this case, I need to be humble enough and accept that it’s a process that I need to go through.

“Of course, the big goal now is to try and be ready for the French Open in three weeks.”

Nadal might be preaching patience to drum the message home to himself but feels like he is getting better every day.

“I have improved compared to when I arrived here [in Madrid], but I still have ups and downs, because it’s been a long time. It’s going to be a difficult week,” Nadal said.

“That’s the reality. We have to be calm, we have to accept that things are going to be far away from perfection, but then onwards we just have to fight. I’m recovered. I feel good.”