Missed four months with a foot injury, Rafael Nadal will resume tennis at the Abu Dhabi Expo on Friday, where he will above all want to assess his physical condition.
“I know it won’t be easy, I don’t have a lot of expectations at the moment,” admitted the Spaniard on Thursday, whose goal was to get well into the Australian Open in mid-January.
“I have had a lot of pain in my career, in fact almost all the time. It comes down to a level of pain that I can tolerate to play well.”
The 20-time Grand Slam winner, 35, has been suffering from foot pain since the early years of his career. Waking up from injury six months ago has forced him to miss Wimbledon and this year’s US Open.
In Abu Dhabi, an exhibition attended by Russian Andrey Rublev, Canadian Denis Shapovalov and Briton Andy Murray, Nadal will play at least two matches.
An important move because he only plans to play an official tournament before this year’s first Grand Slam (17 January), which at the moment prefers not to show his ambitions.
“I’ve improved a lot at home, I’ve trained well with the right posture, the right intensity and I work a lot on my posture, so I can do a lot of things because the foot allows me to do that, but you never know what I can do,” Nadal said, claiming it’s ‘holy fire’. It always happens.
“Evil thinker. Music scholar. Hipster-friendly communicator. Bacon geek. Amateur internet enthusiast. Introvert.”