Tennis world number one Rafael Nadal has said that he will prioritize his health above anything else, moving forward.
The Spaniard has had a history of problems with his knee over the past year, having to pull out of the Paris Masters and the ATP Tour Finals in the end of 2017 after succumbing to injury.
The setback saw him having to forgo his participation in the Brisbane International and forced to make his way to Melbourne for the Australian Open without any competitive tennis under his belt.
The decision proved foolish in the long run as despite making easy work of the opening few rounds, his lack of preparation eventually caught up with him.
Nadal had to pull out of his quarter-final clash against Marin Cilic with a hip injury, which has set him back by upto three weeks.
The gap between him and second placed World Number 2 Roger Federer is now only 155 ATP points, but Nadal isn’t thinking about that.
“I’m not going to commit any madness in order to keep the No 1 spot,” Nadal said, as quoted by the Express. “The first thing is to be healthy, happy and eager to work.”
The 31-year-old, who has won 16 Grand Slam titles, including the French and US Open last year, is ready to take a step back and preserve his body to be able to play his best tennis on clay. His goal now is to be happy and take a step back from putting his health on the line for more titles and achievements.
“At the moment I only think about recovering because for me the most important thing is to get well into the period between Monte Carlo and Roland Garros. I insist that I want to be happy and from there it is all more or less secondary,” Nadal added.