But the 27-year-old Spaniard admitted that the injury woes that sidelined him for seven months last year are far from being a thing of the past. On the contrary, they are ever-present on his mind.

Nadal had pointedly refused to answer questions about the state of his knees during the French Open fortnight, but he opened up after his impressive win over David Ferrer.

“My knee, not knees. I am lucky that it is not both. It’s only one,” Nadal said with a wry smile when questioned again on his troublesome joints. “But the knee, some weeks I didn’t feel well, but the last couple of weeks I start to feel my knee better.

“So that’s positive. And the knee is resisting tough matches like I had in Rome against (Ernest) Gulbis, David Ferrer - two days straight.”