Rafael Nadal swings into 2010 action on Saturday in a semi—final at the Capitala World Tennis Championship admitting that he is still feeling the effects of an injury—plagued past season.
Less than a month of training at home on the island of Mallorca has convinced the world number two that he has work to do before hitting his formidable best following a run of knee and stomach injuries in 2009.
“I believe that this year I’ll arrive a little bit less prepared than for the start of last season,” he told Spanish sports newspaper As. “My preparation has been short but good.” “Three weeks later I am ready to start again,” said the four—time French Open winner who helped Spain to a fourth Davis Cup title this month.
Nadal will start in the semi—finals of the six—man special event in Abu Dhabi against the winner from the match between compatriot David Ferrer and Russian Nikolay Davydenko.
Roger Federer heads the field at the three—day season warmup in the Gulf.
Nadal has an Australian Open title to defend starting in a fortnight after he plays next week on the ATP in Doha.
“The results are what they are,” said a realistic Nadal. “I hope to win everything. But that’s impossible. You have to do what is possible in each event.” Top seed Federer will play the winner of a Thursday night match between countryman Stan Wawrinka and French Open finalist Robin Soderling.