In an interview with ABC Spanish radio Tuesday, Rafael Nadal revealed some of his hopes when he finally returns from a knee injury in the next month.
Nadal, who hasn’t played since a shock Wimbledon loss to Lukas Rosol last June, admitted that he’s not thinking about winning the Australian Open, rather focusing on getting back to 100% for his favorite clay season and French Open title defense.
“I would like to return in January,” Nadal said via Reuters. “I don’t expect to return and win the Australian Open, I have to be realistic. The results will not worry me in the first tournaments back.
“I have to take into account my form after so long out. It wouldn’t bother me if I slipped down to 15th in the world as long as inside I knew was able to continue.
“I want to be 100 percent in time for Monte Carlo and the run-up to Roland Garros.”
Nadal is still scheduled to play in the Abu Dhabi, Doha and then the Australian Open. Rafa did not rule out Davis Cup either after Australia. And he remains intent on playing Acapulco in February. He added that his recovery was going as planned and surgery on his knee was an earlier consideration, an option that was fortunately avoided.
Coach and Uncle Toni Nadal also said that Rafa’s rehab is on track, but the team will proceed with caution.
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