Rafael Nadal: ‘I am always super happy to be…’

20-time Major champion Rafael Nadal is back in action after being off the pitch for four and a half months, losing both matches in Abu Dhabi. The five-time Mubadala World Tennis Championship winner was unable to defend the title he claimed in 2019, and ended up on the losing side to Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov in their first meetings from Washington in early August. Dealing with a left foot injury since the Roland Garros semi-final, Nadal skipped Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open, closing his season in Washington and undergoing a minor procedure in Barcelona to relieve pain. Feeling better in recent months, the Spaniard wanted to test his current level in Abu Dhabi and gather more information before taking his next steps. Nadal is scheduled to compete in the ATP 250 event in Melbourne in the first week of the 2022 season before entering the first Major. However, he was unable to confirm the trip to Australia after that loss to Denis Shapovalov on Saturday. Rafa will sit down with his team and discuss his next moves, feeling happy to play again but wanting to improve many elements of his game for the first official matches of the new season. Nadal played just 29 games in 2021, won two ATP titles and remained in the year-end top 10 for the 17th consecutive season. The 20-time Major winner will need some time to regain his form and strokes, and in the next few days we will find out if he travels to Australia and starts the new season regularly. “I need to speak to my team, and I cannot guarantee anything about my trip to Australia.”

Nadal is feeling good

Speaking on his recent activities. Rafael Nadal stated, “Yeah maybe too tough to start after a long time. [Feeling] good, the goal is achieved. Be back on the court, play two matches. I spent more or less four hours on the court during the last two days. Three days because the day before I practiced with Rublev.” Nadal is feeling good to be back doing what he does best. He has returned after a while and has spent a decent amount of time on the courts. Rafa was happy to be back on familiar territory in Abu Dhabi and although he did not win any match, he intends to come back in the coming seasons. The 20-time champion added, “I have been here plenty of times so the thing is, if I [am] still playing tennis, I am always super happy to be here playing, so hopefully, I can keep coming during the next couple of years. [It has] been a must-stop before the beginning of the next season and this year was no exception.”

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