Rafael Nadal 'cannot guarantee' his place at the Australian Open

Rafael Nadal admits he ‘cannot guarantee’ his place at the Australian Open as 20-time Grand Slam champion says ‘things are difficult and I accept that’ after stepping up his recovery from a foot injury

  • Rafael Nadal says he ‘cannot guarantee’ a tennis return at the Australian Open 
  • The Spaniard has been sidelined with a foot injury sustained at the French Open 
  • He has been building back up but says ‘things are difficult and I accept that’ 

Rafa Nadal cannot guarantee he will travel to Melbourne for next month’s Australian Open – despite making his long-awaited return to action in Abu Dhabi last week.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion’s comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship – an exhibition event and his first tournament since the Citi Open in Washington in August – ended with close defeats by Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

Nadal, 35, spent four months on the sidelines with a foot injury after defeat in the semi-finals at Roland Garros. He was forced to skip Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open.

Rafael Nadal says that he ‘cannot guarantee’ a return to tennis at next year’s Australian Open

‘The idea is to go there and try my best there in Australia. Being 100 per cent honest, I can’t guarantee it,’ the Spaniard said. ‘I need to speak with my team.

‘It’s more than six months since the last official match. Things are difficult and I accept that. I was able to compete in both matches and even had my chances, so if we put that in perspective it’s a very positive thing.’

It was also a positive week for Murray, who reached the final before losing in straight sets to Andrey Rublev. ‘It was good to see where my body’s at playing three days in a row at that sort of intensity. I learned quite a lot,’ the Scot said.

The Spaniard has been recovering from a foot injury picked up at this year’s French Open

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