Tennis-Nadal is happy to return to competition again after a setback

File Photo: Tennis-ATP 250-Melbourne Somerset-Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia-January 5, 2022 Rafael Nadal Reuters / Lauren Elliott of Spain during a practice session

January 15, 2022

Sdipto Gangley

Melbourne (Reuters) – Rafael Nadal said on Saturday that he was happy to be free of injuries and illnesses and was excited to win the record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

After nearly four months of recovery from foot problems, the 35-year-old Spaniard returned to the tour and won his 89th career title at the ATP250 tune-up event in Melbourne last week.

Preparations for the Australian Open, where he won the 2009 Australian Open, were suspended last month as he tested positive for COVID-19 following an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Nadal, who was “extremely ill” for a few days, hopes that tennis will be everything in 2022.

“I came here with the clear goal of returning to the tour,” Nadal told reporters. “That is the most important thing.

“Then, if I can win the match, I’m improving every day, it’s great. I’m excited to play again here in Australia’s Grand Slam.

“Enjoy the practice and come back and feel the professional tennis player again. You are playing good tennis.”

Nadal was tied with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in a men’s record 20 major title, was knocked out at the French Open in last year’s semifinals, and was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon and the US Open due to injury.

Nadal said he wasn’t sure about his suitability for the best five sets of games, but staying healthy was a top priority.

“I just want to go every day,” added Nadal, who will face Marcos Giron of the United States in the opening round. “But practice is useful. I spend every day in court, and I think it’s positive.

“Every match I can win, it’s very important to my self-confidence, it’s important to my physical performance, and you never know what will happen later.

“I want to continue to enjoy this beautiful sport and give myself the chance to continue fighting for what I have fought for the last 16 years.”

(Report by Sudipto Ganguly, edited by Peter Rutherford)

Tennis-Nadal is happy to return to competition again after a setback

Source link Tennis-Nadal is happy to return to competition again after a setback

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