Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former long-time coach Toni Nadal has revealed that the world number five is determined to continue playing despite his ongoing physical problems.
The 32-year-old Spanish star was recently forced to miss the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami due to a right knee injury.
Nadal sustained the injury during his 7-6(2), 7-6(2) win over Russian Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open, and was subsequently forced to withdraw from the eagerly-awaited semi-final clash against his long-time rival Roger Federer.
The 17-time Grand Slam, who appeared only in three tournaments so far this year--the Australian Open, the Mexican Open and the Indian Wells Masters, is most likely to return to the tennis court later in April.
Though Nadal had said that injuries are taking its toll, his former coach revealed that the Spaniard is keen to continue as long as possible.
"And Rafael wants to continue playing, despite his physical problems. That is what will continue to be decisive. Until when, who knows. Maybe two or three more years," Sport24 quoted Toni as saying.
"What I'm saying is that Rafael is not a tennis player, he's an injured person who plays tennis, and that's very difficult," he added.
Nadal, who returned to practice only last week by taking to the courts of the Rafa Nadal Academy, is hoping to be fit in time to defend his title at the Monte-Carlo Masters which is slated to take place from April 13 to 21.