Rafael Nadal has explained that 'being happy' and 'playing well' are his two main goals when he makes his return at the end of the month. The Spaniard cut his 2016 season short after the Shanghai Masters in October owing to wrist injury problems and will return at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships at Abu Dhabi at the end of December.
The 31-year-old looked to be getting back to his best form at the start of last season after his struggles with injury in 2015, but a wrist injury during the French Open derailed his 2016 campaign, following which he failed to win a single title apart from the gold medal in the doubles event at the Rio Olympic Games. Nadal played through the pain at the Olympics and the US Open, but decided to take a break after his second round loss in Shanghai.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion has revealed that he is midway through his pre-season preparations, and is on course to make his return in December. After the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, Nadal is hoping to play the Brisbane International in the first week of January and then travel to Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the year, which begins on 16 January.
"I'm practicing much, I am in the middle of the pre-season and at the moment everything is going well. I am willing to work and so far I manage to do it," Nadal said about his injury return as quoted by tennisworld.org
"Definitely there isn't anything sure in the life, but that's the plan. Unless anything unexpected happens, I will play Abu Dhabi, Brisbane and Australian Open.
"You never know how things can go. I have to see how I feel and how I am doing after this month and a half of preparation, and then we will decide. In tennis you decide which tournaments play depending by how things go.
"I don't know. Being happy and playing well to win. These ones are my two goals, nothing more. And I am working to do it," the Spaniard explaines.