Abu Dhabi - Rafael Nadal plans to take several weeks off after the Australian Open to recover from a nagging shoulder injury.
second-ranked Nadal said on Thursday the injury surfaced before the ATP
World Tour Finals in November and that he was still "not 100 percent."
He only decided three days ago to defend his title at the World Tennis
Championships, a two-day exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.
had a problem before London with my shoulder and I had to stop for about
10 days before the (ATP) finals," Nadal said on Thursday in Abu Dhabi. "It
felt better but again it resurfaced. In December, I did not have enough
time to practice because of that."
Nadal will play the winner of a match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer in the semi-finals on Friday.
is hopeful his shoulder will hold up in Abu Dhabi where he will attempt
to win the tournament for the third year in a row and in Doha where he
plans to play at the Qatar Open next week. After competing at the
Australian Open beginning January 16, the 25-year-old Spaniard said he
would take February off to rest and practice.
While praising the
dominance in 2011 of No 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, who won three Grand
Slams, Nadal blamed himself for allowing his play to become "too
predictable" at times. But he insisted he wasn't going to overhaul his
game despite losing to Djokovic in six finals.
"This is not the
time to change many things. This is the time to keep playing well, to
keep improving my tennis," Nadal said. "I will just try and be
competitive in all the tournaments. I was competitive in all the
tournaments (in 2011) and was in three Grand Slam finals."