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Nadal reveals struggle with anxiety

By Josey Samuel
Rafael Nadal

Terrassa (Barcelona), November 30: A troublesome knee, a fragile wrist and a sore back had in the past forced Rafael Nadal to stay off the court for a considerable amount of time.

A fortnight ago, the world No.1 suffered another setback, his injury to the right knee refigured to hamper Spaniard’s progress at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.

It is the sixth time Nadal has withdrawn from the London championship in 13 years of qualifying.

Finally, Nadal has opened up about the anxiety caused due to long durations of injury lay-offs which disrupted his 2015 season but revealed the feelings have now disappeared.

“In 2014, I linked several injuries and health problems, all of which caused 2015 to start with doubts, and those doubts produced an anxiety that was unknown to me until then, the reality being that this internal stress lasted for six or seven months,” revealed Nadal during an interview to Spanish website El Mundo.

"I've not had them again, they've disappeared, what can they come back to? It's possible.”

Those problems prevented the Mallorcan from performing at the highest level but Nadal insisted that he never got frustrated due to failure. “No one fails if he does his best to win, he fails when he doesn't try hard enough to achieve his goals.

“Everything possible is done to win, but there're uncontrollable factors, that for me is not to fail, I've never let myself go in games or in training.”

In 2014, Nadal underwent stem cell treatment on his back at the end of the season to help repair cartilage after the injury had hampered his season.

Nadal lost in the Australian Open final after struggling with the back issue as he played Stanislas Wawrinka. He was able to win the French Open for a ninth time but his year finished early when he had his appendix removed.

But in 2015, Nadal won just three tournaments as he dropped to five in the world. He reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and the French Open but was dumped out of Wimbledon and the US Open in the second and third rounds respectively.

This year, Nadal has risen back to the top of the men’s game as he won the French and US Open to finish as world No 1. The 16-time Grand Slam champion is already the oldest man to finish a season at the top of the rankings at the age of 31, having previously achieved the feat in 2008, 2010 and 2013.

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    Story first published: Thursday, November 30, 2017, 11:17 [IST]
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