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PHOTOS/VIDEO: Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2018 SF Rafael Nadal vs. Kevin Anderson
Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2018 SF Rafael Nadal vs. Kevin Anderson 6-4 3-6 4-6
Rafael Nadal is satisfied with his first match back after undergoing ankle surgery last month but admits he will have to pull out of his third-place play-off in Abu Dhabi to avoid pushing his body too much too soon.
Nadal only got back to training two weeks ago in preparation for the new season and is now scheduled to kick off his 2019 in Brisbane next week.
“When you are out since long time ago, I had the surgery a little over a month ago, it’s normal that I have some pains. Being honest, I’m satisfied the way I was playing tennis. I am more or less satisfied with how the body held,” Nadal said after his loss to Anderson.
“Tough match, three-set match, I didn’t play sets before here. And at the same time, I have normal pains after a long time without playing, so probably tomorrow I will not play.
“I will take a couple of days off. The season just started for me, it was a goal to be here, I tried hard to be here after surgery not too long ago, I was not sure if I will have the chance to start the season, and I did.
“Last year I missed this event, last moment, I didn’t want to miss it again. But, at some point I need to take a decision and I spent more time on court than what I thought. It’s not the moment for me to make a step back, it’s the moment to make a step forward, the match of today is a step forward for me, that’s the main thing.
“I suffered a lot in terms of injury. I don’t want to suffer more, I want to make the things the right way, step by step and that’s it. My goal is try to be ready for the Australian Open and I think I’m on the way to make that happen but of course I can’t take a lot of risk being the first match after a lot of months and especially after the surgery.”