Rafael Nadal says he is not in top form going into the U.S. Open, but will be looking to improve during the tournament.
In an interview with digital newspaper El Espanol, the Spaniard said he is not 100 percent, but is ready to compete. He will be playing just his third event since withdrawing mid-tournament from the French Open with a wrist injury.
"I need to regain my confidence and play some weeks with no pain, which has not happened yet," Nadal said. "But if someone sees me playing and does not know [about the injury and layoff], I think it is not very noticeable, honestly."
He added that he was pleased that the wrist appeared to be holding up upon his return to competition, though he still cannot hit as freely as before.
“The injury is very complicated and delicate," he said. "With many hours of playing, the wrist has not got worse. It is a little better. This is important and very positive."
Nadal will be looking to build on that as he begins the U.S. Open.
“I'm coming in with little foundation, and an injury during the season,” the 14-time Grand Slam champion said. “All that makes it more complicated. But the intensity and desire are there. I hope the wrist starts to feel more comfortable."
However, there's something he knows he has fully regained since rejoining the tour.
"I have a lot of desire to compete,” he emphasized. “I feel competitive again.”
Nadal is fifth in the rankings.