Rafael Nadal will not worry about results as he makes his latest comeback from persistent knee problems.
26-year-old Spaniard won the French Open this year but missed the last
six months of the season after playing at Wimbledon when he knew he was
not fully fit.
Now he is
ready to return at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi next week,
although he admits his knee is still not 100 per cent and his focus is
not on results.
'I am not nervous,' he told The Times. 'The only thing is the knee.
rest of the things - I can play better, I can play worse - it doesn't
matter how I play tennis in the next month or month and a half.
me my goal is not Abu Dhabi, it is not Doha, it is not the Australian
Open - my goal is to try to be fit, to be 100 per cent recovered with my
knee and 100 per cent fit in my personal performance by Indian Wells
and Miami [in March], to try to arrive to Monte Carlo and the clay-court
season in good shape.'
added: 'It will take time. The people have to know when you are outside
of the competitions and haven't played for a long time, you will have
problems to come back to your best.'
The 26-year-old Spaniard is set to play an exhibition tournament
in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 27. It will be his first action since he was
sidelined with tendinitis in his left knee after a second-round loss
to 100th-ranked Lukas
Rosol at Wimbledon in June.
The injury prevented Nadal from defending his Olympic singles gold
at the London Games, where he was supposed to be Spain's flag bearer
in the opening ceremony. He also had to pull out of the U.S. Open and
Spain's Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, which his
teammates lost without him.
The 11-time Grand Slam winner and former No. 1 player said his
knee had improved over the last two months after making frustratingly
little progress during the summer.
Even so, he acknowledged that he may have to skip some more events
to get back to full speed.
"I'm prepared to accept that at the start my knee might not
respond well and I may have to take it easy, mixing periods of play
and rest for the first three months," he said.