MADRID, July 15 – Rafael Nadal, who has lost his French Open and Wimbledon titles, as well as his world number one spot, in a summer of injury misery, said Tuesday he plans to return at the Montreal Masters in August."I am really looking forward to practice again and to do what I most like: to play tennis," he said in a statement posted on his official website after undergoing medical tests in Barcelona.
"The event in Montreal (where he is defending champion) is important and I expect to be there and fit to play. Until then I need to continue to work on my recovery and practice well."
The 23-year-old Spaniard has been suffering from tendinitis in both knees and has not played since being upset by Robin Soderling in the fourth round at the French Open in May.
It was his first defeat at Roland Garros where he had been the four-time champion. The injury forced him to pull out of Wimbledon, where he was also defending champion, two days before it started.
During his absence, Roger Federer won both the French Open and Wimbledon and regained the number one ranking held by Nadal.
The Spaniard, who was also forced to miss his country’s Davis Cup quarter-final win over Germany last weekend, will resume training on Monday ahead of the Montreal Masters which starts on August 8.
"The evolution of his injury is positive and the player will continue with his physiotherapy and muscular work and will resume his tennis activity in a progressive way starting next Monday, estimating his return to competition on August 8th at Montreal," said his doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro.
His great rival Federer, who clinched a record 15th Grand Slam title when he regained the Wimbledon title, has insisted that his achievements have not been diminished by the injury-enforced absence of Nadal.
Federer has a 7-13 career record against the Spaniard.
"I would have loved to play Rafa again. You never know how he would have played, but it’s sad he couldn’t even give it a fair chance," said Federer.
"I’m happy at least that I became No. 1 in the world by winning the tournament, not just by him not playing at all, or me playing decent or someone else playing decent and getting to No. 1. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be."