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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 14:13 GMT
Nadal plays down foot injury fear
By Piers Newbery

Rafael Nadal
Nadal won six titles in 2007 including a third French Open
World number two Rafael Nadal has moved to calm fears about his future after comments regarding a foot injury from his coach Toni Nadal.

Reports suggested the 21-year-old's career was in doubt after uncle Toni admitted: "It's very serious. I don't know (if it's career-threatening)."

But Nadal told Spanish TV: "This injury hasn't stopped me competing at the top level for over two years."

He added: "The story that has come out is totally false."

Ealier, the Spaniard's spokesman Benito Perez-Barbadillo told BBC Sport: "This is nothing new and really serious.

Roger Federer is a fully-rounded player; Rafael has a different style

Toni Nadal

"It's something he lives with. It's definitely not career-threatening."

Nadal's season ended with a 6-4 6-1 defeat by world number one Roger Federer at the Masters Cup in Shanghai on 17 November, although he has since played an exhibition match against Richard Gasquet.

"He's had a very successful year," said Perez-Barbadillo. "He was the guy who played the second-most number of matches and he wouldn't do that if it was a serious problem.

"Rafa is not happy with what came out. He arrived back from a holiday in Egypt today and he starts training tomorrow, and plays an exhibition in Malaga at the weekend."

606: DEBATE

The physical nature of Nadal's game has often taken its toll - he had to pull out of a Davis Cup tie in March and carried a knee injury throughout the US Open.

"He's been affected by an injury to his foot since 2005," said Toni Nadal. "He has to learn how to live with it and so far he has managed for two years."

He added: "We are pleased with the season just finished, with the injury and everything. His play has improved and the matches have been less intense.

"Roger Federer is a fully-rounded player; Rafael has a different style. The key factor has been to shorten the length of matches and we have achieved that.

"His problem is that he has to play to maintain his physical tone and fitness levels. There's no other way to do it than by competing."

SEE ALSO
Nadal limps past wildcard Jones
30 Aug 07 |  Tennis
Injured Nadal to miss Marseille
11 Feb 07 |  Tennis


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