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Nadal hopeful of contesting ATP Brisbane

World No.2 Rafael Nadal is hopeful of returning from an injury-ravaged 2018 and taking centre court at the Brisbane International.

Nadal hopeful of contesting ATP Brisbane

World No.2 Rafael Nadal is hopeful of returning from an injury-ravaged 2018 and taking centre court at the Brisbane International.

RAFAEL NADAL of Spain plays a backhand against Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Australia.
RAFAEL NADAL of Spain plays a backhand against Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Australia. Picture:Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

He may have made Brisbane International promoters nervous but Rafael Nadal is confident his injury-plagued body won't stop him from playing his best tennis for years to come.

The world No.2 said he was showing no signs of slowing down despite a string of ailments limiting his 2018 season to nine tournaments.


However, Nadal, 32, could give no guarantees he would take the court for his Brisbane International opener on Thursday after an interrupted preparation.

The 17-time grand slam winner has been given a Brisbane first round bye as he eases into his first ATP event since retiring with an ongoing knee complaint during the US Open semi-finals in September.

His off-season has also been limited by November ankle surgery.

Nadal's lingering knee injury forced him to pull out of the 2018 Brisbane International.

And he would have made promoters jittery when he baulked after being asked whether he would definitely play his Brisbane second round clash this week.

"I hope so. (But) I don't want setbacks. I want to step forward and that is do the best things to stay healthy," he said.

"My goal is to be on court on Thursday. So that's the answer."

For the record, Nadal is scheduled to take on the winner of the first round clash between France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Australian qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Nadal admitted he had endured a "tough year" but insisted his troublesome body would not stop him from remaining a force.

"I have plenty of years on the tour. I know the things that works well for me," he said.

"I really believe that I have a lot of tennis to play in my career, and I really feel that my body is not going worse every year."

While Nadal had a restricted 2018 he still won five tournaments including a record extending 11th French Open title and made the Wimbledon and the US Open semis.

His body still left him frustrated, forcing him to pull out of two grand slams in 2018.

Besides his US Open semi-final retirement, Nadal also had to withdraw from his Australian Open quarter-final with a hip complaint.

Nadal underwent ankle surgery in November, making his return at last week's exhibition tournament, the 2018 Mubadala World Tennis Championship, at Abu Dhabi.

The Spaniard lost his comeback match in the UAE to world No.6 Kevin Anderson of South Africa in three sets.

He then withdrew from his next match at Abu Dhabi to keep his body fresh for this month's Australian Open.

"It (body) is a little bit up and down after coming from a long period of time without competing, and having the surgery," Nadal said.

"So it's step by step.

"After all I suffered last year in terms of injuries, I don't want to make mistakes in terms of playing without being 100 per cent."

AAP


AAP




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