PHOTOS/VIDEO: Rafael Nadal MEDIA DAY at Australian Open 2019
Melbourne (AFP) - Rafael Nadal revealed on Saturday he was back to full fitness and has a brand new serve to unleash at the Australian Open.
“I feel good. If I am not feeling good, I will not be here,” Nadal told reporters two days before the start of the first Grand Slam of the year.
“I have good feelings in terms of the surgery. After surgery, after months without competing, having trouble practising, of course there are always issues when you come back.
“But it’s nothing new for me,” added Nadal.
“There are always things to improve,” said the Spaniard, who faces Australian wildcard James Duckworth in the first round.
“The serve was always a thing that I tried to improve, and I think I did".
“I am happy with the motivation to do something new. If I am able to make that happen in a good way, that hopefully it will give me the chance to help me on my game longer term.
“I didn’t compete with this new serve, so let’s see how it works. I am confident it’s going to work well.”
“My only goal is always to have been to keep going,” he said. “That’s the only way that you can keep having confidence and hope for a good comeback in terms of health.
“But I know that tennis is not forever. I want to do it as long as I can and give myself the best possibilities to fight for the things really I am passionate about, and to keep doing the things that I really enjoy doing.
“When the day arrives I cannot do it will be the day to go and do another thing.”
(AO): “When you are going on court every day without the clear goal because you cannot move well, you have pain, then is a moment to take a decision,” Nadal said of Murray’s decision.
“I didn't arrive to that point. I am a positive guy. I always had the feeling that we'll fix it. But, of course, there are periods of time that you don't see the light. It’s tough.”
“Even if a lot of days you go on court when you have troubles or you go to the gym without having a real goal or without knowing why I am going there, because I don't see a benefit on this day, you keep going,” Nadal said.
“That's the only way that you can keep having confidence and hope for a good comeback in terms of health.
“I know sometimes it’s hard mentally. It’s tough when you have one thing, then another thing.
“But I know that tennis is not forever. I want to do it as long as I can and give myself the best possibilities to fight for the things really I am passionate about.”
“2017 had been a special situation,” he said. “Both of us (Rafa and Federer) came back from a very long time without playing tennis. Nobody expected that, and it happened".
“Today is a different story. We are back to the top positions, fighting for the things again. [It has] always has been a big challenge to face Roger all around the world, on the different surfaces, different scenarios".
“And yes, 2017 here has been one of the matches that’s going to stay in our minds, in our careers. But one more, we had plenty.”
Photos: Tennis Australia; EPA; AP
• Press conference
• Interview for Eurosport (ES)
Rafa says he gets to AO w/motivation to compete again & start a new season. After several months w/o competing due to several injuries & surgery, starting isn't easy & you need to be patient & have the right attitude to accept things, but so far it's been a good week of practice.
His serve, he says along his career he's always look for improvements, also on his serve. That keeps U motivated & helps U be a better player. He thinks at this point in his career, trying to improve his serve will be key to try to give himself more chances & play for longer
Andy's decision, Rafa says it's tough & thinks Andy's been living very tough moments for quite a while now. When you see you have problems & don't seem to find a solution, it's very frustrating [he knows the feeling].
After competing for best titles for so long, when U see you have limitations to go on doing what you want to do, you reach a point where U have to give up for the sake of your mental health, as it's a daily agony & you have to take a decision. Andy's been suffering for too long.
Not to the extent of Andy's, but Rafa says he's known other cases similar to Andy's & so he understands him. Finally, Rafa wishes Andy the best & hopes he can enjoy these last months competing on tour in the best possible way. He also wishes him the best for the future.