Toni Nadal has made it clear that Rafael Nadal's main goal when he returns next season is to win a Grand Slam, but understands that it will be difficult after his recent injury struggles. The Spaniard cut his 2016 season short in October after the Shanghai Masters owing to a wrist injury, which he first suffered during the French Open earlier in the year.
The 14-time Grand Slam winner has also reiterated his commitment to get back to the world number one position and add another major in the future. Nadal will make his return from injury at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in December and the Australian Open will be his first chance at adding to his 14 titles.
The 30-year-old, however, will have his task cut out as he will not have a favourable draw going into the first Grand Slam of the year owing to his slide down the ATP rankings in recent weeks. He is currently ranked number nine in the world, which could see him come up against possible pre-tournament favourites world number one Andy Murray and second seeded Novak Djokovic much earlier in the tournament.
Nadal senior, who is the world number nine's coach and uncle, is hoping that his nephew can be at the same level as Murray and Djokovic next season. The aforementioned duo had successful 2016 seasons, with the former ending the campaign with nine titles, while the latter won seven including two Grand Slam titles.
"It [the injury] was caused by the bad luck. We have not been playing for much time and it affected us much. Now a new season starts and we have to earn points straightaway. Rafael's ultimate goal is to win a Grand Slam title," Toni Nadal said, as quoted by tennisworld.org
"Andy had an unbelievable last part of the year, while we noticed the pressure that Novak went through. Both players played very well and hopefully we will be with them. We will see," he added.