MADRID: Rafael Nadal insists he can still compete with the best in the world for “many years to come” after opening his tennis academy alongside Roger Federer in Mallorca on Wednesday.
Nadal and Federer have slipped down the world rankings this season due to a lack of form and fitness respectively.
However, the 30-year-old Spaniard insists two of the most successful players in the history of the sport can make it back to the top.
“Roger and I haven’t forgotten how to play tennis and we are working to get back to competing at the highest level,” said Nadal.
Federer won’t play again this year due to ongoing rehabilitation on a knee injury, whilst Nadal refused to confirm if he intends to play again in 2016.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion suffered a shock second round defeat to Victor Troicki at the Shanghai Masters last week.
Yet, at sixth in the world rankings, Nadal is still well-placed to qualify for the end of season ATP Tour Finals.
“Sometimes continuing to play is not the solution. Sometimes the solution is to stop and restart a training programme,” he added.
However, Nadal also hinted he could return at the Swiss Indoor tournament in Basel next week.
The stunning academy complex in Nadal’s home city of Manacor in the Balearic Island boasts 26 clay courts, as well as a fitness centre, two swimming pools and 10 paddle tennis courts.
“I still have many years to come in tennis, but there is a future and this academy is part of that future,” said Nadal.
“We were very excited to create something so special and even more so in Manacor, it is a dream come true.
“We hope the kids enjoy it as much as possible. We want this facility to be a success at the professional level for them, but also on a human level.”