Rafael Nadal celebrates French Open

‘Rafael Nadal can win Australian Open,’ claims former world number three

Rafael Nadal ‘has a chance’ of winning the Australian Open despite his own doubts, says David Ferrer.

Nadal has not played a competitive match since August after succumbing to a long-standing foot injury.

He returned this month to play the Mubadala World Tennis Championships, an exhibition event in Dubai, where he lost to Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

After that tournament he tested positive for COVID upon his return to Spain, and as a result there are still doubts over his scheduling plans.

However, compatriot and former world number three Ferrer has warned not to write off the 20-time major winner.

“At the moment, Djokovic is playing well and he is healthy, but I (also) think Rafael Nadal has a chance to win the Australian Open, for sure,” Ferrer told Sky Sports.

Speaking before Mubadala, Rafael Nadal spoke of the need to manage his own expectations as he assesses the condition of his foot.

“It’s not about pain,” Nadal said. “I had pain a lot of times during my career, almost all the time, it’s more about having the chance to have a pain that I can manage to compete well.

“Let’s see. I need to try it in competition. I know the comeback will be not easy. I don’t have big expectations now.

“I really hope the foot is going to get better and better to be again at the level that I want to be.

“If I am able to play with no limitations, I want to fight again for everything, so that’s the goal.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.