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Despite a planned Australian Open return in January, Rafael Nadal is keeping his comeback intentions low-key as he believes he will only be back to title challenging fitness in April.
The 26-year-old who will be making his first appearance in Abu Dhabi after six months later this month has also written off any chance of tournament triumphs. The Spaniard insists that results in the two tournaments will be secondary to a steady return to fitness.
The 11-time grand slam champion does not regard himself as a realistic title contender for the first few months of the new season. Nadal told a Spanish radio “I’d like to return in January, but I’m not expecting to win the Open.”
Nadal who recently returned to practice courts also said he is happy with his recovery and is looking at long-term goals. The Mallorcan born player hopes to be ready for the first grand slam of the year in Melbourne next year but is only looking at tomorrow and continuing with his recovery.
However, Nadal gave specifics that he would like to be in his best shape for the Monte Carlo Masters that starts on April 14. The superstar put in, “I want to be 100 per cent in Monte Carlo and then prepare well for Roland Garros.”
The world number four has not played in six months since his shock second round exit in Wimbledon to 100th ranked Lukas Rosol and due to chronic knee injuries.
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