Rafael Nadal says he's healthy and pain free ahead of Australian Open
"I really enjoyed playing here. I'm happy to be back on court and happy that I'm healthy again"
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 08/01/19 10:21am
Rafael Nadal insists he is healthy and in no pain after coming through an exhibition game in Sydney.
The world No 2 pulled out of the Brisbane International when an MRI revealed a slight strain of his left thigh, casting doubts over his fitness for next week's Australian Open.
The Spaniard has not played a main tour event since a knee problem forced him to retire during his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro in September and he underwent surgery on his ankle in November to remove a loose intra-articular body and only resumed training a month ago.
He played the opening round at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi to start his season, where he lost to South African Kevin Anderson, and had a first round bye in Brisbane before withdrawing ahead of the second round.
Nadal teamed up with Canadian Milos Raonic to defeat Australians Nick Kyrgios and John Millman in the FAST4 Showdown on Monday evening after which he said: "I did not feel the pain here. I think it was a good start for me, a good comeback to the action in front of a fantastic crowd in Sydney.
"I really enjoyed playing here. I'm happy to be back on court and happy that I'm healthy again."
Nadal will head to Melbourne, where he was the champion in 2009, and the 32-year-old believes he can be a genuine title contender despite his injury problems.
"Why not? You can't predict that. Of course it would be better if I had the chance to play a full tournament in Abu Dhabi and a full tournament in Brisbane, but the big importance is I am feeling good with the ball," he said
"The only thing is that I didn't play matches since a long time ago."
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