Rafael Nadal: 'Fitness more important than results'

Nadal taking comeback slowly
© PA Photos
Rafael Nadal admits that he must be patient ahead of his return to competitive tennis following a seven-month absence due to a knee injury.

Former world number one Rafael Nadal has claimed that the way his knee reacts on his comeback to tennis is more important than results.

The Spaniard has not played a competitive match since Wimbledon in June and admits that he must concentrate on reaching full fitness ahead of his return next month in Chile.

Nadal told reporters: "Well I am going to play [after] a long time in a tennis tournament, professional tennis tournament, after seven months.

"The most important thing for me is the knee... that I can support the pain of the knee and then if I am able to play these three tournaments in a row I think it will work very well for me because I will have three important weeks to prepare for the rest of the season.

"I know that the first three tournaments are going to be difficult in terms of results but I am going to try everything. I will need a few weeks to see how things improve."

Following his appearance in Chile, Nadal is scheduled to compete in the Brazil Open and Mexico Open.

Britain's Andy Murray wipes sweat from his forehead during the men's final of the Australian Open tennis championship on January 26, 2013
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