Since returning from his injury last month, the 11-time Grand Slam champion Nadal has won 12 of 13 matches in a South American clay-court swing, finishing runner-up in Vina del Mar, Chile, before taking titles in Sao Paulo and at the Mexican Open.
“Today I know I can play on clay. I will try next week on the hard (surface),” Nadal said.
“Playing tennis will be a process to adapt my knee to the competition. I hope I will keep having the chances to play the normal calendar as I did in past years. I cannot predict the future. I have to see how the knee will last at Indian Wells next week,” he added.
After Indian Wells, Nadal could play at a hardcourt event later this month at Miami, then switch to clay ahead of the French Open and grass for Wimbledon before facing hardcourts in the run-up to the US Open.
Nadal tried out his knee on the hardcourts on Monday, playing an exhibition match against Juan Martin Del Potro at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
After two sets of hard-serving, steady rallies and the occasional moment of light-hearted fun, Nadal said he was ready to go.
“I am very happy. It was a sad moment when I had to decide not to come to the US Open. It seems like now everything is great,” Nadal said.
Del Potro, who won the match 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, said he was surprised at how quickly Nadal has returned to winning tournaments.