Melbourne: Rafael Nadal was taking nothing for granted. Asked at last year's French Open if he expected injury to derail his career, the 11-time major champion replied: "It's impossible to predict the future, no?"
If the Spaniard seemed unnecessarily pessimistic, subsequent events have borne him out.
After winning his seventh title at Roland Garros, Nadal played only four more matches in 2012: two at Halle, and two at Wimbledon. Since his shock second-round loss to Lukas Rosol at The All England Club in June, he has been unsighted.