Nadal admits his physical condition is ‘far from perfect’ after rib injury | Tennis News

MADRID: Rafael Nadal says his fitness is ‘far from perfect’ as he prepares to return to play after a debilitating rib injury that left him racing against the clock to regain peak fitness for Roland Garros.
The 35-year-old, who claimed a men’s record 21st Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open earlier this year, suffered a rib stress fracture in Indian Wells, where he lost in final against Taylor Fritz on March 20.
The injury forced him to miss the clay-court events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
He is now fighting to get back to his best before the French Open, which starts on May 22 and where he will try to win a record 14th title.
The Spaniard will return to the ATP Masters 1000 Madrid Open on Wednesday.
“I recovered from my injury, but tennis and preparation is another story,” Nadal said at a press conference on Sunday.
“Those who have broken their ribs know how much it limits you and for the first few weeks I had trouble sleeping because of the pain.
“It’s an injury that doesn’t need a lot of time to heal, but it didn’t allow me to do almost anything. It hurt even doing aerobic work.”
Nadal thinks he will struggle to get back to his best this week, but it will be a step towards optimal condition for Roland Garros.
“Things are far from perfect at the moment. I have to admit that,” Nadal said.
“I’m taking these days almost like pre-season, doing double sessions every day. This tournament suits me very well and I have to take it that way. If a win can come, then fantastic. But the goal is for what comes.”
Nadal said he didn’t have time to savor his outstanding win over Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final in January.
“Tennis is not a sport that allows you to look back and enjoy your achievements,” Nadal said.
“I understand it was a historic moment, one of the greatest emotions of my career, but I just don’t have time to look back and appreciate it. The last few weeks have all been about the recovering from my injury.
“If I continue to play today at my age and at the highest level, it is because I have learned that winning and losing is something you leave in the past. You always have to look forward. before to keep this concentration and this thirst for competition. That’s how I work.”

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