`Fit-again` Nadal hopes schedule change will bring success

Johannesburg [South Africa], Jan.2 : Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal believes a change to his long-standing fixture would surely lead to success in the first major of the season-Australian Open.

After opening seven of the past eight seasons in Doha, Nadal has chosen to begin his Melbourne campaign this year at the Brisbane International.

Reflecting on the same, the 30-year-old said that although Doha had worked well for him, Brisbane would surely help him to get used to Australian conditions.

"Doha has worked well for me in the past but Brisbane will help me adapted get used to Australian conditions, which are a little bit tougher because of the weather,"Sport24 quoted Nadal as saying.

It would be for the first time since Sydney in 2009 that Nadal would appear in an Australian ATP tournament in the lead-up to the year's first Grand Slam event.

Nadal insisted that he had decided to bring change in his schedule in a bid to give himself the best chance of acclimatising to the Australian summer.

"Every year is different. All the players are changing schedules. Being here in Brisbane is good news for me. I like Australia. Last year I decided already to come here before. I don't know if that's going to help me better or not -- I'll tell you after Melbourne," he added. Nadal won the last of his 14 grand slam titles in 2014 when he claimed his ninth French Open title, but has suffered a string of injuries since that high point.

The world number nine also struggled this year, knocking out in the first round of the Australian Open and fourth round at the US Open.

He was also forced to withdraw early from the French Open and was ruled of the Wimbledon due to the wrist injury earlier this year.

However, the Spaniard has now insisted that he is fit again and is all set to challenge a Grand Slam title.

"I cannot predict the future (but) I can say if I am healthy, I believe that I can do it. If not, I will be at home fishing," said Nadal, who arrived in Brisbane after winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.

The Brisbane International is slated to be held from January 1 to January 8..

Source: ANI