ABU DHABI, December31, 2015
The 29-year-old Spaniard arrived in the capital of the UAE in order to play his first match on Friday against compatriot David Ferrer. Nadal finished the 2015 season at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals in straight sets.
“The off-season was great with unbelievable weather in Mallorca. After London, I took a couple of days off but there was not something like proper vacation. We were able to practice hard and as much as we wanted and enjoyed the time. I feel that I have worked enough. I finished the 2015 season with good feelings. I just keep practicing with those positive feelings. I feel myself well and hope to be ready for what is coming up,” Nadal said and added about approaching the new season mentally:
“The mentality is the same like every year. I do not know if I start well right from the beginning but I feel ready to compete. You never know about the results but I feel that I am doing the right things. I am going to be passionate and the most important thing is to play the same way as I am practicing. I am confident that I will be competitive,” the Mallora resident told and also experienced the IPTL in December playing for the Indian Aces.
“The IPTL is an interesting format and it was a great experience. I am very happy that I could be part of it this year, as it is so difficult to organize such a great event. But the ATP World Tour is a different story. We have other rules, although some of them changing, could be interesting for the crowd in order to improve our sport for the future. But for the moment we need to keep going like it is and make it positive for the fans,” he said and expects world number one Novak Djokovic to be as strong as in the last ATP World Tour season. If his dominance will continue?
“We will see in a couple of months. What Novak did in recent times has been amazing and we have to congratulate him for his achievements. He is able to maintain that kind of level. I hope that I will be competitve enough to compete against everybody this year. We will see if I can make this happen,” Nadal stated and added that the Olympic Games will be a personal highlight for him in 2016.
“I try to play as much as possible at the Olympics. I do not know if these are my last Olympics or not. You never know what will happen. So I want to enjoy it as much as I can, as I missed 2012 due to knee injury. This was a tough moment. And this year I hope to be ready for Rio,” Nadal told about his goals for Brazil 2016 and also considers a possible participation in the mixed doubles.
First of all,however, he will start the season here in Abu Dhabi. Nadal won the title here twice, lifting the trophy in 2010 and 2011.
“I play in Abu Dhabi first, which is a great event. Some of the best players are here and this gives you the possibility to compete at highest level and also in great weather conditions. Then I will go to Doha. That’s a normal schedule for me. I have been to Qatar for the last five years.”
A lot of players on the tour recently got married. Is there pressure on Nadal of being the next?
“No…I have enough personality to do it when I feel ready for it. But it’s not only about me, it’s about two persons. My girl-fried and I have been together for the last 11 years. Wedding is not very important for us today and we are happy the way it is at the moment,” he told and smiled satisfied.