• Nadal won the award for the fourth time at Mundo Deportivo's Grand Gala.
  • The world number one also provided an update on his tennis return.
  • Garbine Muguruza won the female award for athlete of the year.

Rafael Nadal received the award for Spanish male athlete of the year for 2017 in Mundo Deportivo's Grand Gala on Monday (5 February).

Nadal won the honour for the fourth time in his career (2007, 2008, 2013) to commemorate a remarkable 2017 for the Spaniard.

Despite losing the Australian Open final to Roger Federer last year, Nadal was able to win a record 10th French Open title, becoming the first player to have double digits in victories at a single Grand Slam.

The 31-year-old would go on to win a total of six titles in the calendar year, including the US Open as he returned to the top of the ATP tennis rankings for the first time since 2013.

Nadal defeated the likes of Kilian Jornet , Marc Márquez, Toni Bou, Lucas Eguibar and Sergio García to win the award.

"I am very happy and grateful to Mundo Deportivo for having thought of me for the prize," Nadal told Mundo Deportivo via Express. "The truth is that this place is special and very beautiful and ideal to celebrate a night of sports.

"I've been winning and not winning, but someone has to win."

Nadal also provided an injury update at the event, reiterating that he will be back for the Mexican Open. The 16-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of his Australian Open quarter-final tie with Marin Cilic last month due to a hip problem.

"It's a small injury that needs time and rest and recovery, and that's what we're doing," Nadal added.

"For the moment my schedule is the same and I think I'll be able to travel to Mexico to play at Acapulco."

Meanwhile, Garbine Muguruza won the Spanish female athlete of the year at the event after her own memorable year that saw her emerge victorious at Wimbledon for the first time and briefly become the world number one.

The Spanish-Venezuelan defeated the likes of Mireia Belmonte, Ona Carbonell, Berta Busquet, Alba Torrens and Lydia Valentín to earn the honour for the first time in her career.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal won six titles including two Grand Slams in 2017 Getty