Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal is looking for his first title of 2017 at the Monte Carlo Masters Getty

Rafael Nadal is injury free and close to getting back to his best in 2017 after a difficult last few seasons when he was hampered by various injury troubles – mainly in his knees and wrist.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion struggled with injury in 2015 managing just three titles all season, while 2016 started better with back-to-back wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, but a wrist injury during the French Open ensured that it was his last title for the season. Nadal was forced to end last season pre-maturely in October and only returned in January this year at the Brisbane International.

The nine-time French Open winner has had serious knee injuries during his career, while the wrist injuries have been a more recent occurrence. Nadal admitted that he is more worried about the former reoccurring rather than the latter.

The Spaniard is yet to win a title in 2017, but has made three finals in the five tournaments he has played. Nadal has had the misfortune of playing an in-form Roger Federer in two of them, while he lost to Sam Querrey in the other final. However, the former world number one is confident he can get back to winning titles and revealed that being fit and playing without injury is what makes him happier at the moment.

"I am much more worried about my knees than about my wrist," Nadal said, as quoted by the Independent. "I believe the knees are more dangerous for me than the wrist. The wrist injury was an accident."

"I have had two problems in the wrist – 2014 and then last year – and both times it was down to a bad movement. It was not something that was going on and getting worse and worse. It wasn't the same sort of injury as the knees," he explained.

"When I don't have injuries and I feel I am competitive in the events that I am playing, that makes me enjoy it and makes me happy - more than winning titles.

"It's important to me to feel competitive enough to have the chance to compete for the things that really motivate me. I had that feeling in the first part of the season and I am working to have that feeling in the next couple of months," the world number seven added.