RAFAEL NADAL
Rafa Nadal: 'Knee doesn't have to be ready now, goal is within a month'

Rafa Nadal: 'Knee doesn't have to be ready now, goal is within a month'

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For the first time in a few years, Rafael Nadal decided to have holidays outside Europe not for reasons linked to tennis but just to relax with friends and family. The Spaniard went to Caribbean for over a week, before coming back to Spain on Monday.

And it has been a busy start of the week for the 16-time Grand Slam champion: in Madrid he attended a Vive Telefonica event to launch a new virtual game featuring him, and then was awarded the Best Male Spanish Athlete in the last 50 years by AS.

After that, Nadal, who started training for the new season from Tuesday, commented on his right knee injury that is not 100% healed yet. The Spaniard had some treatment in order to heal and prevent injury, but he is not in a rush because he still has a couple of weeks for his season to start, at the Abu Dhabi exhibition. 'I didn't end the season in the best possible way,' admitted Nadal, who played his last competitive match of the year against David Goffin at the ATP Finals in London. 'But I would have signed to have such a year.

My knee doesn't have to be ready now, but the goal is [to be ready] within a month. I will try to do the right things in order to be ready. It takes time to recover well, that's why I took some weeks off.

I have to start again. I will try to play in Abu Dhabi, Brisbane and Australia. It would be the ideal situation and I will try to make it happen.' Nadal, who won six titles this year including two Grand Slams, also commented on people saying he had a tough schedule. 'This year I played 18 tournaments.

Apart from the mandatory tournaments, I only played three: Barcelona, Brisbane and Beijing (also Acapulco). I played practically only what the usual calendar requires. I played many matches and luckily it went well.' Still, he withdrew from Rotterdam, Queen's and Basel, and the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour Finals after the latter two had started.

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