Rafael Nadal casts doubt over whether he will play at the Australian Open
Rafael Nadal showed some good form as he returned to action following a foot injury in Abu Dhabi, but he has now stunned his army of fans by casting doubt over his participation in next month’s Australian Open.
Nadal lost his match against old foe Andy Murray on Friday, but the quality of the contest suggested the Spaniard was edging back towards full fitness.
The former world No.1 then showed some good form in a tight defeat against Denis Shapovalov on Saturday at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, with his comments after the second of those matches somewhat unexpected.
At the age of 35, the 20-time Grand Slam champion had confirmed he wants to travel to Melbourne next month, but it is evident that a final decision has yet to be made.
“I need to talk to my team, see how my body responds after these days,” said Nadal, as he was asked about his plans for the Australian Open.
“The plan is to go to Australia, but I cannot guarantee it one hundred percent. I have time to make a decision.
“There are things to improve, but looking at things with perspective it has been a positive tournament.
“I cannot guarantee Australia one hundred percent, because I need to go home and see how the body responds after these days. I have time to make a decision. At this point in my career, I need to go day by day, study each movement well.
“I have been able to show a competitive level against good players even without being in perfect condition. There are things to improve, but looking at things with perspective it has been a positive tournament.”
When asked when he would make a decision on his immediate future, Nadal added: “I am not playing at all for money or just for fun, I am playing to keep achieving goals or at least to enjoy the process to try to achieve my goals.
“If then you don’t achieve, it’s fine, but the motivation and the passion is still there.”
All eyes will be on Nadal over the next few days, as he makes a final call on whether he will play at the Australian Open.
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