LONDON (Reuters) - As years go 2014 has not been a good one for Rafa Nadal but with his injury troubles seemingly behind him, the Spaniard is confident he will be back to his best next season.
Nadal, blighted by back and wrist injuries this year, underwent surgery to remove his appendix on Nov. 3, an operation that forced him out of this month’s ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Now on the mend, the 28-year-old Spaniard hopes his injury troubles will be nothing more than a memory when he returns to training in December before he begins the defense of his Qatar Open title in January.
“It was not an easy year, especially in the second half it was hard, but that’s part of my life, that’s part of my career, and I accept that,” Nadal said in an interview with Reuters.
”What happened with my wrist and then appendix -- it was problem and then problems again.
“I am not practicing yet, but I am happy with how the operation went and I have no problems.”
Nadal’s frustrating season began in January when his back failed him during his Australian Open final defeat by Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
He managed to recover to claim a ninth French Open crown after beating Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros in June.
However, that proved to be the only shining light in a testing season for the world number three as he was beaten in the fourth round at Wimbledon by Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios before a wrist injury ruled him out of the U.S. Open.
“This year was unlucky because it was accidents, it was not injuries that I had really felt before,” the 14-time grand slam winner said at a Poker Stars event in London.
”I am doing all the right things but I have worked my body pretty hard for a lot of years so these kind of things can happen.
”But I am confident I will have the chance to be back and be competitive with all the things I want to compete in.
Djokovic, who won the season-finale in London on Sunday after Roger Federer withdrew with a back injury, finished the year as world number one for the third time in four years and the Mallorcan praised the Serb’s consistency over the last 12 months.
“He is a fantastic player,” Nadal said.
”He deserves to be where he is because he hasn’t had an injury for a long time and that’s very important for a tennis player.
“He is an amazing player so he deserves it.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury