Nadal: Knee is no worse

  • Last Updated: July 17 2013, 9:12 BST

Rafael Nadal says his knee problem is not a major issue as he prepares to hit the North American hardcourts in preparation for the US Open.

Rafael Nadal: Due to return in Montreal next month
Rafael Nadal: Due to return in Montreal next month

The French Open champion appeared to struggle with the long-standing injury when he lost in the first round of Wimbledon to little-known Belgian Steve Darcis last month.

However, Nadal, who spent seven months on the sidelines between last July and this February with the injury, told the Balearic Islands TV station Esports IB3: "The knee is the same like before.

"What I have to do is keep working so it will allow me to play at a higher level.

"If I am a little bit worse than others physically, it's my problem."

Nadal, who has won seven of the 10 tournaments he has played since his February return, is due to compete in the Masters 1000 tournaments in both Montreal and Cincinnati next month before heading to the final Grand Slam event of the season in New York.

That has surprised some - many expected he would only play one of the Masters tournaments in a bid to protect his knees from the hard surface - but Nadal added he had given careful consideration to his schedule, saying he was doing his utmost "to prolong my career to the maximum".

Nadal was speaking in his home town of Manacor where he has been practising with Serbian doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic ahead of his return to the court in Montreal.

Looking ahead to that event, he added: "I love Montreal, the city and the tournament. I won there in 2005 and was also in semis. I like to play there."

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