For me, it's a challenge to start a new season: Nadal

Georgia [USA], Dec 24 (ANI): Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal has had a roller coaster ride in the year 2018. On the one hand, he lifted the coveted French Open trophy for the record eleventh time and on the other hand, he had to pull out of nine events throughout the year due to injuries.

The 32-year-old, however, asserted that he always enjoy the challenge of making a comeback after injuries, adding that starting a new season is going to be a similar kind of test for him.

"I enjoy the fact that for me, it's a challenge, always, to be back again after a tough period of time because of injuries. For me, it's a challenge to start a new season," CNN quoted Nadal, as saying.

"We try things and we work on new things. And at the end of the day, you need to go on court every day with the passion to improve something, and with the motivation to keep on going," he added.

Terming the year 2018 as "good", the seventeen times Grand Slam champion said that finishing the year as world number two and winning a Grand Slam title is a no less achievement. Nadal, who had to pull out of the 2018 US Open semifinals due to a knee injury, further stated that to be able to keep winning despite such issues makes the concluding year "amazing" in terms of quality of tennis.

"In a year that you finish as the world No. 2, you win a grand slam, you win Monte Carlo and Barcelona, Rome and Toronto -- so three Masters 1,000s -- you can't say it's not a good year. Obviously, it is a good year," Nadal said.

"With all these issues ... to be able to manage to keep winning important things, it has been, not a miracle, but an amazing year in terms of quality of tennis," he added.

The first major Grand Slam event of the year is around the corner and Nadal is all "excited" for the same. "I am still excited about starting another season. At the age of 32-and-a-half, I never expected when I was 23, 22 to still do what I am. That's something that I appreciate a lot, and I enjoy that fact," he said.

Australian Open is slated to be held from January 14 to 27 in Melbourne. (ANI)