Rafael Nadal met the press after losing to Gael Monfils yesterday in the Doha semifinals. Despite the loss, the former No. 1 remains upbeat about his Australian Open chances.
“I go to Australia very happy about what I did here,” Nadal said. “I am not lying to you, and my feeling is very positive. I think I played great tournament, much better than what I thought. So seriously, the only negative thing of today is to lose. For the rest of the things, I am satisfied. I played more aggressive than usual during all tournament, including today, even if I know that’s not the right thing maybe to do it. I tried. I needed to be a little bit more consistent today for moments, but in general, I am doing the things that I have to do to compete against the best players of the world and to try to win at important tournaments. So I happy with almost everything, seriously. Maybe I may not gonna win Australia, but I have to keep working like this and I’m in the right way to win in the future.”
Nadal also further explained the new weighting on his Babolat racquet, which he says will help him with his serve and gain length on his groundstrokes, two areas he needs to improve upon when facing a player like Novak Djokovic.
“We thought about [changing the weighting] after Wimbledon, but I, you know, I was injured,” Nadal said. “I played all Wimbledon, injury. You are remember in my fourth against Del Potro? I had problems, so I finished the tournament playing with infiltrations every day. So after Wimbledon I had to stop for three weeks. I only was able to practice five days before Montreal, Cincinnati. So I did not have the chance to do it. We wanted to do it after US Open, and we put it a little bit too much weight on the racquet.
“So we decided to do it at the end of the season. Worse thing is, in theory, we had to practice one month with a new racquet. Finally I get injury on the knees in the final of Davis Cup, and after, on the shoulder. So I wasn’t able to play. So we reduce a little bit the weight in the beginning we prepared the racquet. So now we just playing with three more grams on the top of the racquet. But if you put three grams in a different part of racquet, is nothing, but in the top, yes. You feel. We decided to do that, because we believed that with this racquet, can help a little bit with the serve, can help a little bit to hit the ball a little bit longer with less, how to say? We found it to play that aggressive, to play a little bit easier, and to hit the winners sometimes can help me, no? So I need time, but I felt positive things during all this tournament, and, you know, I thought it would be much more difficult than what there is today. So I’m very happy.”
Nadal, who hasn’t won an ATP title since the French Open, heads to Australia where he’ll be the No. 2 seed for the event which begins on Monday, January 16.
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