Nadal has compared his recent injury woes, which forced him to call his 2018 season to a premature end, to that serious foot issue.
At the time 14 years ago, Nadal had only won one Grand Slam title – the French Open.
He has since collected a further 16 major tournament trophies to move to within three of Roger Federer’s all-time record.
Nadal is through to Sunday’s Australian Open final hoping to close the gap to just two.
And he is thankful for every tournament he can compete in, especially after overcoming the devastating News.
“I can’t say yes because after the first good year that I had, or the first great year I had, 2005, I get injured with my feet, in my feet,” Nadal said.
“Doctors told me that probably you will never be back playing at the professional level, no?
“Until that moment I really enjoy every moment that I had success.
“For me, every victory, every year that I have been able to keep going have been a very happy year for me.
“When the doctors tell you that, you never know, can be the end.
“Now is a different story. I am a little bit more safe after a lot of years.
“The first year, after what happened with my feet in 2005, was something difficult to manage mentally.
“I really appreciate all the things that happened to me since I was very young.
“I feel lucky to be back from where I was in that moment.”
Nadal will face the winner of Novak Djokovic vs Lucas Pouille in the Australian Open final.
Source : EXPRESS