Rafael Nadal has revealed that he is feeling good ahead of the Australian Open despite not having played much to prepare for the tournament. The Spaniard made the finals of the tournament last year where he lost to Roger Federer and will be looking to redeem himself when he begins his campaign as the number one ranked player in the world.
Nadal suffered a knee injury at the end of last year, which saw him pull out of the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour Finals. The setback delayed his return to competitive action before the start of the year and the Spaniard will go into the Australian Open having not played a single competitive game thus far.
The Spaniard was expected to return to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which took place in Abu Dhabi from 28-30 December before the start of the 2018 season. However, he withdrew from the event and was replaced by fellow compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut.
His next date was set for the Brisbane International but he pulled out citing a slow pace of recovery following a strenuous 2017 season. However, despite the lack of competitive action, Nadal is hoping to be at his best when he takes on Estrella Burgos in the first round.
"Good. Is the first time I am here without playing official match in my career. Is new situation for me," Nadal said on the Australian Open's official website when asked how he is feeling going into the tournament.
"But I feel good. I feel that I had good week and a half of practices. Remain this afternoon and tomorrow, the last practice before the competition start for me. I really hope to be ready. I feel myself more or less playing well. So, yeah.
"I had to stop for a while. I started little bit later than what I expected. That's why I was not able to start the year playing in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane.
"We decided to start later because we needed some more practice, start slow, to be fresher, little bit more fresh mentally and physically, and do things the right way. That's what we tried to do.
"Here we are to try my best, try to see if I am able to start."