Fitness comes first for returning Nadal

22 December 2012 07:41:37 EST

Eleven-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has played down his chances of success at the Australian Open, insisting that being fully fit is his main priority.

The left-hander has not featured since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in June, but will be back on court in Abu Dhabi next week as he continues his fightback from knee problems.

It doesn't matter how I play tennis in the next month or month and a half.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, who is 500/1 to win the Australian Open title in 2013, told The Times: "The only thing is the knee.

"The rest of the things - I can play better, I can play worse - it doesn't matter how I play tennis in the next month or month and a half.

"For me my goal is not Abu Dhabi, it is not Doha, it is not the Australian Open.

"My goal is to try to be fit, to be 100 per cent recovered with my knee and 100 per cent fit in my personal performance by Indian Wells and Miami in March, to try to arrive to Monte Carlo and the clay-court season in good shape."

Nadal, already a seven-time French Open winner, is 4/7 to triumph at Roland Garros again in 2013.

Meanwhile, former Wimbledon and US Open  finalist Vera Zvonareva of Russia has been ruled out of the Australian Open due to a shoulder problem.

The 28-year-old, who missed large parts of 2012 due to illness and injury, has seen her ranking slip to around the 100-mark as a result of her recent problems.

Don't forget all of the fantastic markets we have to offer, including In-Play betting, can be accessed on your mobile phone and tablet with the new and improved bet365 On The Move.

View all Tennis betting

By accessing, continuing to use or navigating throughout this site you accept that we will use certain browser cookies to improve your customer experience with us. bet365 only uses cookies which will improve your experience with us and will not interfere with your privacy. Please refer to our Cookies Policy for further information on our use of cookies and how you can disable or manage their use should you wish.
Registered Office Hillside (Sports) LP (registration number 118), Unit 1.1, First Floor, Waterport Place, 2 Europort Avenue, Gibraltar.
Hillside (Sports) LP is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner (RGL number 075).
© 2001-2016 bet365. All rights reserved.