Rafael Nadal said it took 'a lot of mental effort' to come to Wimbledon after his injury problems in the last two months.
Nadal was flying at the start of the year, winning the Australian Open as well as the Melbourne Summer Set and Acapulco.
He then got struck by injury, first with a cracked rib in Indian Wells and then with his foot problem flaring up again.
However, he is back at Wimbledon for the first time in three years and beat Botic van de Zandschulp to move into the quarterfinals, and he says that feels good after what it took to get him here.
"I did I make a big effort to be here," Nadal said. "[It] takes a lot of mental and physical effort to try to play this tournament after the things that I went through the last couple of months.
"But as everybody knows, Wimbledon is a tournament that I like so much. Have been three years without playing here. I really wanted to be back.
"That's what I am doing. So that's why it means a lot for me to be in that quarterfinals, no? I think I have been improving in general terms, no?
"I started to feel that my ball is damaging more than the beginning of the tournament. I think I am, again, making the ball advance faster with my forehand, with my backhand. I think working well with the slice, too.
"Then I miss a couple of volleys again going to the net. That's the way.
"In general terms, I am happy. It's not easy to make the transition. Not easy especially after a while not playing here. Now is the moment to keep doing the steps forward if I want to keep having chances."
Rafael Nadal has said he no longer wishes to talk about his injury, and it seems to be bothering him less and less on the court too.
He now wants to take the focus away from that and concentrate on improving his level even more as the tournament progresses instead.
"Day by day, it's always is the same here," he said. "It's not about how close I am to the level or not. I don't know that. I can't predict what can happen.
"But the positive thing is the first two matches haven't been good. Then two days ago I played I think at high level for the first time. And today most of the match, again, at a very positive level, no? Happy for that.
"That give me the chance to have one more day tomorrow on the court practicing and adjusting things that I need to keep doing.
"But, yeah, I can't say another thing. The improvement during the tournament is there. Yeah, of course I'm happy to be back in quarterfinals after three years without playing here. It's a positive result for me."
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