WATCH: Nadal won his 89th career ATP title in his first tournament following a lengthy injury lay-off.

Rafael Nadal returned to tour with a title victory at the ATP warm-up event at Melbourne, defeating Maxime Cressy in the final, but admitted that he had been even less sure than usual about whether he could come back.

The 35-year-old was playing his first tour event since the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., five months ago, and his first since testing positive for coronavirus upon his return to Spain from the Abu Dhabi exhibition event a few weeks ago.

"To win a title is always special," Nadal told press. "There have been some very challenging moments, and I have been working very hard even in the very tough moments.

"So, I am quite satisfied the way that I approached all these very challenging months in terms of attitude, in terms of positive spirit and in terms of passion to try to be back."

Though saying he had been supported by his team and family, the Spaniard had ''even more doubts during a lot of months if I will be able to be back" and is still working on getting his game back to the highest levels.

"I have a lot of things to keep improving, but I really want to do it, and I’m going to try hard," said the No. 6.


I have a lot of things to keep improving, but I really want to do it, and I’m going to try hard. Rafael Nadal

At the Australian Open, he will be going for the Grand Slam record, for which he is currently tied at 20 with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Nadal's co-coach Carlos Moya told the ATP more about the extent of the foot problems.

"They were the most difficult moments since I’ve been one of Rafa’s coaches," said Moya.

The positive tests of Nadal, Moya and former doubles player Marc Lopez—who recently joined the team as a coach—hampered the comeback effort further.

"When we arrived in Mallorca, we tested positive and everything collapsed," said Moya. "Rafa’s willpower has been extraordinary. When we saw that it would be a few bad days, but he would recover [soon]... he was the first to decide to stick to the initial plan."

Nadal was the top seed for the ATP warm-up field in Melbourne.