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Nadal set for Rio Open after injury

English.news.cn   2014-02-15 10:14:44

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will play in next week's Rio Open after recovering from a back injury.

The 27-year-old winner of 13 Grand Slam titles has been sidelined since his loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the final of the Australian Open last month.

"I have good feelings about competing in Brazil," Nadal said during a press conference on Friday. "I have a great connection with the fans here. This country is very special and I hope to enjoy the experience."

Nadal will play his first match at the inaugural ATP tour event next Wednesday against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

He admits he is still unsure how his back will cope.

"We'll have to see how it goes. I hope I can tolerate it," he said.

The Spaniard has fond memories of Brazil, where he won as an 18-year-old in 2005 at the Costa do Sauipe ATP event.

He returned last year to win the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo, his first victory after a seven-month injury layoff.

"When I won the tournament in 2005, that was the start of my success," he said. "I was able to play one of the best seasons of my career, winning 11 titles."

Nadal admitted one of his remaining career goals is to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

"It is difficult to predict what will happen over the next two-and-a-half years, but I am motivated to arrive at the Olympic Games in 2016 and be competitive," he said.

"The fact that the Olympic Games will be on clay gives me a little bit of extra motivation. Representing my country at an Olympic Games, at Beijing 2008, was one of the greatest moments of my career."

Editor: Yang Yi
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