Rafael Nadal plots further improvements ahead of Australian OpenBy Jan 10, 2022
The Rally, Australian Open Edition: Reviewing semifinal fireworks, and looking ahead to the men's and women's finalsBy Jan 28, 2022
2022 Australian Open Women's Final Preview: Ashleigh Barty vs. Danielle CollinsBy Jan 28, 2022
Rafael Nadal takes one step closer to history, downs Matteo Berrettini in MelbourneBy Jan 28, 2022
The Wild (Card) Boys: Thanasi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios power into first Grand Slam final at Australian OpenBy Jan 28, 2022
Madison Keys wants to build on Aussie run: “I'm in a really good position”By Jan 27, 2022
Men's Australian Open Semifinal Previews: Rafael Nadal vs. Matteo Berrettini; Daniil Medvedev vs. Stefanos TsitsipasBy Jan 27, 2022
Slice and serve: Ashleigh Barty's delicious fortnight yields first Australian Open singles final after latest blowoutBy Jan 27, 2022
Still Standing: Danielle Collins books first major final at Australian Open after Iga Swiatek dominationBy Jan 27, 2022
Daniil Medvedev had shown us his genius in recent years, but against Felix Auger-Aliassime, he showed his gritBy Jan 26, 2022
Rafael Nadal plots further improvements ahead of Australian Open
Nadal made a victorious return to action with his first ATP title since last May, upping his chances of claiming a 21st major title in Melbourne.
Published Jan 10, 2022
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.