Rafael Nadal has said that recent months have been a struggle owing to the wrist injury he suffered during the 2016 French Open, which forced him to cut his season short despite making a return from the injury during the summer Olympic Games in Rio.

The Spaniard looked to be getting back to his best at the start of the 2016 season with back-to-back wins at Barcelona and Monte Carlo, but a wrist injury forced him to withdraw midway through his Roland Garros campaign. He returned for the Olympic Games in Rio in August, but said it was not the right decision as it caused an edema in his wrist which eventually saw Nadal end his season in October following his loss at the Shanghai Masters.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion, who is slated to return at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi at the end of December, is aware that he will have a difficult start owing to lack of competitive tennis in recent months. However, Nadal has reiterated that winning matches and major tournaments is his main motivation when he returns to the ATP tour in 2017.

"More than enjoying, recently I struggled," Nadal told radio station El Larguero, as translated by tennisworldusa.org

"I am working a lot to do well at the beginning of the next season. I am doing things as well as possible in order to start well. It won't be an easy start as I have not been competing for months.

"It [playing in the Olympics] caused an edema in the wrist but I have been practicing at a good level already for weeks. I'm doing well physically and I'm looking forward to start the new year. My goals? Competing well and having the chances to win the things that motivate me," Nadal added.