Rafael Nadal can win the Australian Open, according to former world No. 3

Nadal has not competed in the last two Grand Slams following a foot injury sustained in August but is set to return at the Australian Open.

David Ferrer is backing Rafael Nadal to be in contention to win the Australian Open.

The Spaniard is returning to action having ended his season in August to focus on recovering from a foot injury.

Nadal, 35, has missed the last two Grand Slam events but Ferrer - the 2013 French Open runner-up - is backing his compatriot to be in the running to push Novak Djokovic at Melbourne Park.

"At the moment, Djokovic is playing well and he is healthy, but I (also) think Rafael Nadal has a chance to win the Australian Open, for sure," Ferrer told Sky Sports.

Nadal wants to make more history

Rafael Nadal plans for Aussie return

Nadal returned to competitive action this month at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Nadal competed at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi earlier this month but tasted defeat to Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

While his career is coming towards the end, Nadal has made it clear he wants to win more Grand Slams and remains more motivated than ever to create history.

"I still believe that I will be competitive enough to give myself chances to compete for the things that I have been competing for the last 15 years; if not, personally it doesn't make sense," Nadal said.

"I am not playing at all for money or just for fun, I am playing to keep achieving goals or at least to enjoy the process to try to achieve my goals. If then you don't achieve, it's fine, but the motivation and the passion is still there."

Nadal's preparation has taken a blow after testing positive for COVID-19 but remains hopeful of playing at the first Grand Slam of the year.

"I'm having a few unpleasant moments but I hope to improve little by little. I am now confined at home and have reported the result to people who have been in contact with me," Nadal said after testing positive.

Read more: Andy Murray, Dominic Thiem and three other ATP stars who need a big 2022

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