Rafael Nadal was recently bestowed the Popular Award of Honor by Cadena COPE and during his interaction with the media, he spoke about his eventual return to action and the Spanish team's performance at the Davis Cup.
Regarding his comeback, Nadal stated he can't say much unless he's completely sure. While he still plans on competing in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship -- an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi -- his progress is being monitored weekly. He wants to start playing again as soon as possible, but his foremost desire is to be completely fit.
"Until things are 100% sure, I can't say much, in the end I don't know either. As I mentioned some weeks ago, my idea is to be in Abu Dhabi and play there on the 17th & 18th, and that's still my plan. However things are being analyzed week by week, as always, keeping in my mind that I want to return as early as possible, but above all I want to return being in good shape."
Nadal mentioned he won't know at what level he'll play unless he puts himself in the position to compete at the highest level. Right now, the Spaniard said, he's following the advice being given to him. Nadal asserted that his condition has improved, which is why he is considering playing in Abu Dhabi. The event, however, is more of a test to see where he is at physically.
"You don't know until you increase the load and test yourself at the highest level. For now I'm doing what I have to do right now, what I've been told. I'm usually quite obedient & what I'm told to do is what I do. I'm currently in that process. Things are better than before, otherwise I'd not consider going to Abu Dhabi. But I don't know what will happen in the future. Abu Dhabi is a test for me and I'm motivated to be there."
"We were a bit unlucky:" Rafael Nadal on Spain's fortunes in this year's Davis Cup
Defending champions Spain were a little unlucky not to advance further in the Davis Cup, according to Nadal. The team won the first group tie against Eucador 3-0, but lost 1-2 to Russia. They had a chance to progress to the quarterfinals as one of the best second-placed teams in the group stage, but didn't have the numbers on their side.
"A pity, after having won 3-0 & lost 1-2, which was something we could aim at at the beginning [of the competition]. We were much closer once Feli played such an amazing match, but chances went away. We were a bit unlucky, as with those scores there were many options to advance, but numbers weren't by our side. It was really a pity, but the truth is that the situation was really difficult."
Nadal has been one of the best players in Davis Cup history, being a part of the title-winning team five times throughout his career. With a 29-1 record in singles and 8-4 in doubles, his absence was sorely felt by the Spanish team in this edition. His last defeat at the tournament was in 2005, when he lost a doubles tie against Italy during the World Group Play-offs.
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