After the first notable results in 2003 and 2004 that made him an ATP champion and the top-50 player, Rafael Nadal was ready for more in 2005. Dealing with an injury for a couple of months in the previous season, Nadal was eager to improve his ranking position and unleash his best tennis.
A teenager won 79 out of 89 matches in 2005, turning that into 11 ATP titles and becoming world no. 2 and Roger Federer's closest opponent. A few days after turning 19, Rafa claimed the first Major crown at Roland Garros and added four Masters 1000 trophies to his tally to complete one of the greatest seasons for teenagers in tennis history.
After a solid display in Melbourne, Nadal won titles in Costa do Sauipe and Acapulco on his beloved clay before reaching the first Masters 1000 final in Miami, where he had everything in his hands against Roger Federer before falling in five sets.
Rafael Nadal had to deal with knee tendonitis ahead of Madrid 2005.
Nadal was the player to beat in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros, establishing himself as the second-strongest link on the Tour and adding three more crowns to his tally in July and August.
After losing in the third round at the US Open, Rafa won the title in Beijing and led his country against Italy in the Davis Cup. The youngster had to withdraw from Vienna due to knee issues, and there was a massive question mark above his Madrid Masters participation.
Nadal confirmed that he was struggling with knee tendonitis in the pre-event press conference, doing an MRI and still preparing to compete in front of the home fans. "I just wanted to state that my knee is injured. I had to withdraw from Vienna last week because I didn't feel well about my knee.
I really wanted to play in Austria, but I couldn't. I'm still a bit injured ahead of the Madrid Masters; I thought I was feeling better initially, but I started feeling the pain again yesterday. I had an MRI, and it's tendonitis, a severe one in my knee.
Still, I'm determined to play in Madrid no matter what happens. I will try to keep my training down today and tomorrow. It's not the best thing to keep my tennis level up and stay fit, but it's the best for my knee.
I'm really looking forward to playing at this tournament. After the Davis Cup, I rested for two weeks, trying to get ready for Madrid. I've been working with a physiotherapist, and I will try to be prepared for Wednesday. I wish to play a good match, and I'm going to practice now," Rafael Nadal said.