‘An important part of my life is leaving too,’ says emotional Rafael Nadal.
Rafael Nadal has revealed the extent of his loss from his battle with cancer, saying he will be taking a ‘break from tennis’ starting in 2014.
The Spanish seven-time Grand Slam champion was diagnosed with cancer in July and is undergoing a life-saving liver transplant surgery, with reports in the Spanish media saying he is on course to complete the procedure next year.
In an interview with Spanish daily, Mundo Deportivo, Nadal said: ‘Right now, this year will be a break from tennis.
‘But it’s not an indefinite one. I’ll take a break to recover.’
The 37-year-old was facing the prospect of being absent from tennis for two years before the cancer diagnosis was made public on Monday.
Nadal began the 2014 season by going through a grueling five-setter against David Ferrer at the Italian Open, playing two matches in Madrid on Tuesday.
There were signs that Rafael Nadal’s comeback campaign could begin in 2014 as he recovered from the cancer
As the Spaniard announced his recovery, Nadal, who won the Australian Open earlier this year, went out of his way to credit the club team doctors, saying: ‘I have to thank everybody involved in my medical treatment, from the doctors to the doctors to the team of medical and athletic staff.
‘I also know that people from my club always put their trust in me and that’s why, after every bad result I can always count on my team to give me an important support, because I know they will be there for me.’
Nadal, who was a world number one for the past 16 months, was diagnosed with a type of liver cancer called HCC in July.
Rafael Nadal will be absent from tennis for two years (left) but is already in talks with a team of surgeons to try to delay the start of his recovery for as long as possible
Nadal won a record 20 Grand Slam titles between 2005 and 2015, but had struggled to win on three occasions in 2013, including in the final of the Australian Open. He was forced to pull out of the French Open final, after becoming dehydrated before the match.
In the same month he won the Australian, he also fell to his knees in tears on court, saying