Rafael Nadal aims to hit peak again in March


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The Independent Online

Rafael Nadal does not expect to be back to full fitness and close to his competitive best until the Masters event at Indian Wells in March.

Nadal will return to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi in five days' time after six months out with a knee injury.

"I need to see how it improves and how it reacts to the intensity and demands of playing with tennis players of such a high level," Nadal said.

"My goal is not this week, nor even Doha [from 31 December] or Australia. My goal is to be in shape, get back to feeling completely fine and feeling completely prepared.

"My season, my real objective, is to be in perfect condition for Indian Wells and Miami and get to Monte Carlo [in April] with good feelings, to tackle the clay season in good shape."