Published On: Tue, Jan 9th, 2018

Rafael Nadal opens up on knee injury and reveals plans ahead of Australian Open


Nadal appeared to struggle with his game during a 6-4, 7-5 defeat to Richard Gasquet at the exhibition tournament in Kooyong.

But the gusting wind was to blame for many of his problems in the forehand wing and the Spaniard revealed that if his troublesome knee was at risk of ruling him out of the , he would not have played the Kooyong Classic at all.

“If I’m not feeling good, probably I will not be here,” Nadal said afterwards.

“So that’s the good news.”

The world No 1 had worried fans by pulling out first of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi and then the Brisbane International.

His withdrawal from those two tournaments means he arrived in Melbourne with no competitive match practice under his belt.

However, the 31-year-old was keen to stress that the strains of 2017 meant he had to approach pre-season in a different way.

“It was a long year last year, so I had to start the preparation a little bit later than usual,” Nadal added.

“But here I arrive in plenty of time and it’s a good day to start feeling again, [the feeling] of playing a match.

“It’s still a good test for me and a good practice and that’s the most important thing.”

But Nadal also admitted his preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year was by no means complete, six days out from the start of the tournament where will attempt to defend his title.

“My idea is just to keep practicing hard the next couple of days to be ready for the beginning of the Australian Open,” Nadal said.


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