The Spaniard won the French Open last weekend to claim his 12th Roland Garros title and his 18th overall Grand Slam success.
Rafael Nadal will now enjoy a near month-long break from the ATP Tour, returning at the season’s next Grand Slam on July 1, Wimbledon.
The 33-year-old was back to his best in Paris to overcome Dominic Thiem in the final, having also downed Roger Federer in the semi-finals, but saw his recovery from injury hamper the bulk of his clay-court season.
Despite a four-week break after the Indian Wells Masters due to fitness issues, Nadal only found his best tennis before the French Open in Rome, when he beat Novak Djokovic in the Italian Open final. Before that he lost in three successive semi-finals on the red dirt despite his dominance on the surface.
Nadal has endured countless injuries in recent seasons and after beating Thiem opened up on the psychological impact all of his niggles have had on him.
The world No 2 admitted he almost shut down his season after pulling out of at Indian Wells, where he had been due to face Roger Federer in a semi-final but withdrew after struggling with knee pain.
But Nadal acknowledged that he could still take an indefinite break in future years, with long-time rival Federer, who is also coming to the final years of his career, having opted to skip the clay swing in the previous two years.
As he seeks to chase down the Swiss icon’s all-time record haul of 20 Grand Slams, Nadal has suggested he will limit the number of smaller events he plays, having already teased a change to his schedule on clay for 2020 when he said back in March he hoped to play in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros this season for “one more year” having done so throughout his career.
I want to be able to play my best in every tournament I enter and that’s the approach we’ll take moving forward following Wimbledon
Asked about his current condition and whether anything is possible for the rest of 2019 after winning the French Open, Nadal told the ATP’s official website: “I’ve never seen myself as capable of anything. I’m happy with what I’ve achieved so far, it’s all special.
“But the path doesn’t end here; this isn’t the end of the road. There’s still work to be done.
“I’m going to have to adjust my schedule a little bit, but that’s a matter I’ll discuss with my team.
“I want to be able to play my best in every tournament I enter and that’s the approach we’ll take moving forward following Wimbledon.
“The option is always there to take some time off like I considered some months back.
“After all I’ve been through, acquiring an injury isn’t something that goes through my mind when I’m on the court. I’m an optimistic person, so all I can say is that I’m going to play and I’m thinking about playing at a high level.
“It’s true that clay is a little less hard on the body, but I can’t dwell on that and also aspire to be successful going into the grass- and hard-court seasons.
“We’ll play with an adjusted calendar to give me the best possible chance to succeed.”
Nadal hasn’t won Wimbledon since 2010 and has only got past the fourth round twice since then, losing in the final in 2011 to Novak Djokovic while also being beaten by the Serbian in last year’s final four.
On his chances of dethroning reigning SW19 champion Djokovic this year, Nadal said: “Realistically, I’ve had my chances at Wimbledon when I’ve been fit and playing well. I played five finals in a row there. I was on the cusp of reaching the final last year.
“Winning at Roland Garros has definitely given me a boost in confidence going into Wimbledon. If I’m fit and I can prepare sufficiently, well, we’ll see what happens.”
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