LONDON: Former world number one Rafael Nadal told The Times on Saturday he is so determined to add to his 14 Grand Slam titles he is prepared to die to do so.
The 30-year-old won two titles this year but he was plagued by physical problems which robbed him of the chance of winning a 10th French Open.
Last month he announced he would be bringing down the curtain on his season prematurely to focus on being full fit for next year.
“I’m going to die to be ready again to compete for everything,” he told The Times at his new academy in his hometown of Manacor on the island of Majorca.
“I’m going to work more than ever to try to make that happen and I have big determination to put me in a position to fight again for important things.”
Nadal, who won Olympic doubles bronze with his close friend Marc Lopez but lost out in the third place singles match to Kei Nishikori after a marathon semi-final with Juan Martin del Potro, said the left wrist injury he suffered during the French Open had come at a most inopportune moment.
“It has been a tough year for me because I got injured at the worst possible time when I was playing great and was having a lot of fun on the court,” he said.
“But that’s part of life and I just have to be positive and keep working hard and my main goal now is to recover and be ready for next season. And I’m going to die for that.
“I’m really motivated to come back to where I was before the injury happened because I feel ready for it.”
Nadal’s tough year wasn’t just on the court but off it too as former French Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot made an unproven allegation the Spaniard had covered up a failed drugs test in 2012 — Nadal had had enough and has sued her.
“It was the moment to say it’s enough, that’s all,” said Nadal, who also demanded the International Tennis Federation (ITF) publish his medical records in answer to Bachelot’s allegation.
“It’s not about being frustrated it’s just a moment to say, ‘Here is a line,’ because it happened in the past a couple of times.
“I hate problems and I hate . . . these things but when that happened with the minister of France I say, ‘OK, now is enough.’
“If somebody like her, who should be serious, can say this stupid stuff then now is the moment to say, ‘OK, from now everybody who is going to speak of this kind of stuff with no proof then I’m going to do the same and take legal action against that person.’
“I know how much I did to be where I am, and I know 100 per cent my values.”