Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal says being healthy again means more to him than his recent results. Nadal, 35, put an end to his 2021 season in August due to a foot injury. Nadal made a winning return as he won the Melbourne Summer Set in his first tournament of the season.
On Saturday, Nadal beat Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (14) 6-2 6-2 to reach the Australian Open quarterfinal. "Well, for me, the main thing, and if you tell me what I am more pleased about, is about be healthy enough to be here," Nadal said, per Sportskeeda.
"That's the main thing, to be able to play seven matches, something I didn't even know when I was here, no, so to be able to play seven matches, it's great news."
Nadal happy with his form and game
"In terms of tennis, I am happy in general terms, of course, no? I did a lot of things well, and knowing from where we are coming and about the number of practices at the highest level that I was able to do before here, the things are going much better than expected, without a doubt, no?' "I have been working very hard in all terms for a lot of months, not that much on court, but in all ways to try to come back to the tour.
I am enjoying the fact that I am here and I am enjoying the fact that I am again in quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, something that it's very special for me." Nadal will be fighting against Denis Shapovalov for a place in the Australian Open semifinal.
Nadal owns a 3-1 head-to-head record against Shapovalov. Shapovalov pulled off a major upset when he stunned Nadal at the 2017 Montreal Masters. "Was a tough one, that one, I remember because I was playing for the No. 1 (smiling)," Nadal recalled.