Rafael Nadal cools injury concerns after Mubadala defeat to Kevin Anderson
Rafael Nadal has suggested his Australian Open participation is far from certain after defeat to Kevin Anderson at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
The world number two, playing his first competitive tennis since retiring hurt against Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open, sank to a 4-6 6-3 6-3 defeat to Anderson.
However, despite admitting to pains following ankle surgery, and withdrawing from the third-place match against Karen Khachanov, Nadal insists it is all just part of his natural recovery.
“Tough match, three-set match, I didn’t play sets before here,” said Nadal.
“At the same time, I get pains after a long time without playing, so probably tomorrow (Saturday) I will not play.
“I will take a couple of days off. The season just started for me, it was a goal to be here.
“When you are out since a long time ago – I had the surgery a little over a month ago – it’s normal that I have some pains.
“Being honest, I’m satisfied the way I was playing tennis.
“I am more or less satisfied with how the body held.
“It’s not the moment for me to take a step back, it’s the moment to make a step forward. Today’s match is a step forward for me, that’s the main thing.
“My goal is try to be ready for the Australian Open and I think I’m on the way to make that happen but, of course, I can’t take a lot of risk after the surgery.”
More from Tennis365:
From Simona Halep to Coco Gauff – The contenders for the women’s Wimbledon title
Ten women to watch at the All England Club.
No queues or courtside autographs – What to expect from a new-look Wimbledon
Centre Court will host capacity crowds for the men’s and women’s finals.
From Novak Djokovic to Roger Federer – Contenders for the men’s Wimbledon title
Ten players to watch at the All England Club.
Wimbledon is ‘very odd’ home away from home for British hopeful Johanna Konta
Konta is one of 14 British players in the singles main draws for this year’s Championships.
5 talking points ahead of Wimbledon’s return to the sporting calendar
The championships are back after the 2020 break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ons Jabeur creates a slice of tennis history with a win in the LTA Viking Classic
Ons Jabeur earned herself a place in the history books with her 7-5 6-4 win over Daria Kasatkina in the LTA Viking Classic final.
Shock result in Halle Open final as Andrey Rublev is beaten
Ugo Humbert stunned world number seven Andrey Rublev in straight sets to lift the Halle Open title.
Coco Gauff looks ahead to a return to the scene of her greatest triumphs
The American’s career took off in 2019 when she made it to the fourth round at SW19.
Matteo Berrettini ends hopes of a new British winner at Queen’s Club
Norrie, 25, was attempting to become only the second Brit to win at Queen’s, after Andy Murray, since the Second World War.
Exclusive – Annabel Croft urges tennis players not to treat the media as their enemy
Former British No.1 Annabel Croft fears some…