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:
Dominic Thiem says he ‘expects’ to find Grand Slams easier after winning US Open title
Thiem has monkey off his back.
‘I don’t feel comfortable to go there and play Roland Garros’ – Nick Kyrgios goes on offensive again
Nick Kyrgios makes French Open decision.
Rafael Nadal says Novak Djokovic was ‘very unlucky’, but insists players should have ‘self-control’
Rafael Nadal adds his two cents on rival.
Two-time French Open runner-up Kim Clijsters explains why she won’t be playing at Roland Garros
Kim Clijsters not sure when she will play again.
‘Nice guy’ Dominic Thiem deserves US Open and ‘right behind Rafa’ to win French Open – Novak Djokovic
Djokovic welcomes Thiem to Grand Slam winners club.
‘I’m still not feeling 100% tennis-wise but I enjoyed it,’ says Kei Nishikori after first win in a year
Kei Nishikori gets a win under his belt in Rome.
Rafael Nadal double downs on Novak Djokovic-led PTPA criticism: ‘We should not pursue our own interests’
‘We are going through a world crisis,’ says Nadal.
Andy Murray and Eugenie Bouchard handed French Open wildcards
Murray set for first Roland Garros appearance since 2016.
‘I was in shock and I was shaken by the whole thing,’ says Novak Djokovic about US Open default
Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open.
‘I achieved a life goal,’ says US Open winner Dominic Thiem after lifting his maiden Grand Slam
Dominic Thiem is a Grand Slam champion.