ALMATY, Kazakhstan: Rafael Nadal returned to action for the first time since Wimbledon on Thursday and admitted he is trying to forget the wrist injury which forced him to skip his US Open title defense.
The nine-time French Open champion beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4 in an exhibition match at Astana, his first ever match in Kazakhstan.
“Every time when I come back after an injury I have an extra motivation,” said 28-year-old Nadal.
“I’m set to work hard to gain my top form and to return to my level. I’m very happy to have an opportunity to play tennis — my favorite occupation.”
The world number three Spaniard hadn’t played since a fourth round loss to Australia’s Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon on July 1.
He then skipped the US hardcourt season but will make his competitive return in Beijing next week.
“I feel much better, I am in good shape. I am trying to forget the wrist. I am trying to get back into a rhythm but that takes time. This has helped.”
Nadal said he was setting no targets ahead of his comeback.
“I will play in Beijing and Shanghai. My goal is to play and practice as much as possible and be ready for the end of the season.”