Nadal Primed For Australian Open Bid

Nadal Primed For Australian Open Bid

Rafael Nadal has moved to play down any injury fears ahead of the Australian Open and hopes to challenge for the title.

The world number two missed the end of the 2018 campaign and was then forced to pull out of the Brisbane International due to a thigh injury.

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There had been speculation Nadal may be forced to miss the first Grand Slam of the year but the 2009 champion says he will be ready for the event at Melbourne Park.

The Spaniard reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open last year but had to retire in the fifth set against Marin Cilic due to injury, and Nadal says he feels in better condition now than he did at this stage in 2018.

“My hope is to win the Australian Open. That’s the hope, always,” he told reporters. “We’ll see how the things improve [with the injury]. And being honest, I feel myself playing well.

“I feel myself playing at a good level of tennis. And I feel myself with very high motivation to compete and to play.”

He added: “I really believe that I will be 100 percent ready for Melbourne. “Last year, in my opinion, my situation was much worse and I was in a quarter-final winning two sets to one to be in that semi-final.”

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