Rafael Nadal met the press today in Doha and he again talked about that mental block he seems to have against Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic beat Rafa six crushing times in six finals last year. But even though he’s unsure if he can ever get back on top of the Serb, he’s ready for the challenge.
“I think everybody thinks that Djokovic will be difficult to beat,” Nadal said. “Not myself. You cannot be on top every time. I lost against Djokovic in all the finals, but I only [just] lost against him. That’s a really positive thing. He did better than me and that’s it.
“I don’t know if I can beat him. The only thing that I know is I have to practise to improve my tennis, and that’s what I going to try to do. For the rest of my career, I don’t know if that’s going to be enough to beat him or to lose him 100 more times. I cannot predict that.
“What I can predict is I going to work hard to try to be competitive enough to play with well against everybody, not only against him, because first thing – you have to be in finals. That’s a very difficult thing to do.”
Nadal still leads Djokovic 16-13 in their career series but the tables have undeniably turned. Novak has been the winner in nine of the last 11.
While Djokovic will have two more weeks to rest before his Australian Open title defense, Nadal, who’s been hampered by a shoulder injury, is in Doha this week along with Roger Federer. The Spaniard is reportedly using a new, heavier racquet this season.
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