Nadal concerned by troublesome knee
Originally published on: 17/04/12 00:00
Seven-time Monte Carlo Masters champion Rafael Nadal admits he is worried about how his knee might hold up ahead of his challenge for another historic win at the Masters 1000 tournament.
The world No.2 withdrew ahead of his Miami semi-final against Andy Murray last month citing knee trouble, having already taken time off between the Australian Open and Indian Wells to rest the joint.
“It’s okay now, [but I need] time to see how it is at the top level, run without thinking about the knee when I put all my pressure on the knee,” he said after a double practice session at the Monte Carlo Country Club yesterday.
Nadal, whose only loss at the event came to Guillermo Coria when he was just 16 in 2003, says that, even in spite of his phenomenal record in Monte Carlo, he expects to be rusty when he takes on Jarkko Nieminen on Wednesday having only returned to practice five days ago.
“It’s not enough after 15 days off without chances to practice a lot because I couldn’t move my knee,” said the Spaniard. “I’m a little bit scared, but seems like today I am able to practice with no [problems].”
The 25-year-old Mallorcan described the injury that ruled him out in Miami as a “little break in the tendon at the top”, but is pleased to be back on his favourite surface, which causes less stress on his knee.
“The worst surface for the players is the hard,” said Nadal. “I believe we are wrong in the tournaments to play more and more on hard and less and less on clay and grass.”
Fellow title-chasers Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray wil be in action on Wednesday. The world No.1 takes on either Andreas Seppi or Victor Hanescu, while the Brit will face Viktor Troicki.