Rafael Nadal sparks fresh health worries after press conference claim

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Health problems and injuries have had a major impact on Nadal’s career but in the last six months, it has taken a clear toll on the Spaniard.

Since November, Nadal has had abdominal, ankle, thigh, hand and knee problems and in the build-up to this week’s Madrid Open, the 32-year-old has been struggling with a stomach virus.

The illness meant he was unable to train on Sunday and postponed his press conference but he was able to practise on Monday.

Nadal was also well enough to train today and finally attended his media briefing.

He was asked by reporters for an update on his condition and the 11-time French Open champion attempted to give a positive update but acknowledged he was not at his best.

“I still have strange feeling or a not super positive feeling, talking about my body health because, as you know, I have been going through a virus,” he said.

“And well, the positive side is I have been able to train at least an hour-and-a-half and I hope that tomorrow it’s going to be a bit better, I’m going to improve.

“Today, I’m a bit better than yesterday and yesterday was better than the day before. So I hope that tomorrow I will continue to improve.

“But it’s true that when you have this virus and stomach viruses, the body’s a bit more weak at the beginning. It’s at a bit more risk of injuries or stuff.

“But, of course, it’s very important tournament for me and I hope to be ready.”

Nadal plays rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round on Wednesday and will be hoping to kick start his clay court campaign after semi-final exits in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

And the 11-time French Open champion says he is looking to build his confidence this week.

“I will try to do my best, look at the positive things and go step by step,” he said.

“Barcelona was a positive improvement for me. I’m feeling better now than then – I’m on the right path.

“I’m building up my game with more confidence than I had in Monte Carlo. I’m enjoying training and I enjoy playing each day.

“This is a very important step for me.”

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