SHANGHAI – World number one Rafael Nadal said on Tuesday he savours each victory more than ever after returning to peak form this year following a succession of injuries.
The 31-year-old Spaniard won his sixth title of the year on Sunday in Beijing, fresh from lifting his third US Open title.
Nadal’s resurgence after injury is one of the tennis storylines of 2017 along with the similar rejuvenation of old rival Roger Federer.
Speaking at the Shanghai Masters, where Federer is also playing, Nadal said: “Of course it is a nice feeling (to win a tournament after injury).
“But it is a feeling that I already had a few times in my career. Of course it is not the positive thing, because it’s better don’t have injuries.
“But at the same time the injuries, the only positive thing about injury is when you come back and when you have success, you appreciate it even much more.”
Nadal, a 16-time Grand Slam winner who has suffered with knee problems for several years, plays unseeded American Jared Donaldson in his opener in Shanghai. The final is on Sunday.
He said on the eve of the match that he has learnt to adapt his playing style as he reaches the climax of one of the great tennis careers.
“Of course the essence of my game... is probably the same, but during the years and during your career, I always say the same, of course you lose things.
“On your way, you lose things that you have when you are younger, so you need to act on other things to keep being competitive.”