Rafael Nadal said on Friday he “hopes” to be ready for his opening match at the ATP Finals but admitted he has not been training at 100 per cent after an injury scare. The 16-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of the Paris Masters last week with a knee problem, sparking fears that he would miss the season-ending finale in London.
When asked whether his knee would be ready for his first match against Belgium’s David Goffin on Monday, the Spaniard told a pre-tournament press conference “I’ll try my best,” but admitted he had been wary during practice in recent days.
“I hope. And if I didn’t believe I can be ready, for me, I wouldn’t be here,” said the world number one. “I’m working every day, practising well and just trying to be ready for the action.”
He said it was impossible to predict whether his knee would be close to its best by the time of next week’s final, adding that he was taking things day by day.
“You cannot predict what’s going to happen,” he said. “You work every day without thinking too much about what’s going to happen.”
Nadal insisted he had made no schedule demands on the organisers to gain additional time to recuperate from his injury. If the Spaniard pulls out of the event it would be a huge blow to organisers, with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray already missing from this year’s event, giving the eight-man field a lopsided look.