‘An important part of my life is leaving too,’ says emotional Rafael Nadal.
The 32-year-old Spaniard has battled a stomach bug for a week, and as he was forced to miss the Indian Wells Masters he admitted he was concerned about his health over the long term.
The former world number one has made it clear that he wants to play on, and that he will do all he can to make sure he’s fit and ready to compete at his peak when the season resumes on Sunday.
Although he may have to play it cautiously as any prolonged absence from serious tennis would be dangerous for his health, Nadal is confident his body will recover.
“I will take the appropriate courses and therapies to make sure my body is healthy for the season,” he said before the Indian Wells Masters.
“From what I’ve been told, the virus wasn’t very serious. But I just wanted to be cautious because it can be dangerous to have these long absences.”
Nadal was forced to sit out the clay court Masters event due to virus-like symptoms, but was back on the courts on Wednesday with a full schedule of clay court events.
He is set to play in his first Masters tournament since the Australian Open in January 2015 as he bids to regain the world No 1 ranking that he lost following a fall off the courts in the quarter-finals here in March.
Having won his first title since the Australian Open at the US Open in May, he will need to win titles against top-ranked players Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka this week at the Masters, as well as the last eight claycourt events he’ll play as he prepares to resume his season in Miami.
“It’s crucial that I have no setbacks because otherwise the championship is lost and this is important for many reasons,” he said.
“First, that’s very important for me to be able to go to Miami to continue my season in the best way possible and for the world. And second, for the spectators to see me in the very best form possible.
“Having said that, I think people understand very well that I’m at the top and I need to maintain my form and I need to play very well.”
As in Melbourne in March, when he withdrew from his