Rafael Nadal: My Confidence Is Fine, I Know I Am Better Than Months Ago
by Tom Gainey | August 26th, 2015, 9:36 am

Rafael Nadal has won a Grand Slam title in 10 straight years. The US Open will be his last chance to extend the streak to 11. But despite being healthy, this has been his most difficult season, losing early at the Australian and Wimbledon, and falling to Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals at the French.

Nadal has three titles, but they are of the smallish variety at Hamburg, Stuttgart and Buenos Aires. And his ranking, which dipped to No. 10, stands at No. 8.

But the 29-year-old remains resolute as he tries to win a third US Open.

“It’s obvious that I will be arrogant today saying I will win the US Open after the year I have had, but I will say I feel better than most of the season,” Nadal said. “We’ll see if it’s enough. I enjoy the fact that I am here. Last year I couldn’t say that. In terms of tennis and mentality, I am close to be where I want to be.

“My confidence is fine. I think I’ve been playing better than what the results say the past couple of tournaments. I’m doing things well. It’s always the same after losing some matches during the year to find the momentum again. I’m in this process and I know I am better than months ago.”

Nadal’s decline has critics demanding the 14-time champion hire new voices to his team. Nadal, though, only blames himself.

“I have [had] an amazing career with the team that I have today, the same team from the beginning,” he said. “So my feeling is if something’s not working well it’s not because of your team — it’s because of myself. The one thing I have to change is myself.”

Nadal will be the 8th seed when the US Open begins on Monday. As an 8 seed, he could face Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray or Roger Federer in the quarterfinals.

“One of my best things during the whole of my career has been my mental strength,” Nadal said. “It is something I was not able to find that consistency during this year, but I start to see that I am again with that mentality, with that self-confidence.”

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13 Comments for Rafael Nadal: My Confidence Is Fine, I Know I Am Better Than Months Ago

Giles Says:

Good luck Champ!
Vamos Rafa!

jalep Says:

He has a shot, definitely.

Don’t write him off. If he can navigate the first week and goes deep, he’ll be tough to beat. He’s hungry.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Do your best Rafa,is all us fans ask of you….

chris ford1 Says:

People should not write off Rafa. He is just too good to collapse permanently. Fed had a horrible 2013 and Nole spent time in the performance and morale desert of tennis 2009-2010 after the Madrid contest with Rafa – contemplating quitting. Serena has had YEARS off and on where it looked like she was finished.

But with Rafa, something has fundamentally changed. And that is not him, but the competition. He can’t count on his Clay Bastion of Barcelona, the 3 clay Masters, and French Open anymore for easy points and trophies.
Andy, who on paper is an ideal clay player in all aspects except mental toughness, finally came up to his potential in 2015. Nole, as all know, has worked and worked to make himself Rafa’s equal or near-equal on clay. And we know what some dark horses like Wawrinka can do if they show up on clay “in the zone”.
Like Fed, I think while Rafa may no longer be dominant and unable to reach #1 again – he will be around for years – and remain an exceptionally dangerous foe for anyone on any surface on any day.
He is a good guy with a champion’s way on and off the court and not arrogant or stuck up at all. So even fans of other players save the fanatic haters – while they don’t want Rafa to beat their fave – still root for Nadal to have a nice life and remaining tennis career in years to come.

Gordon Says:

I am a Fed fan but I dearly want Rafa to play at a high level again. Off the court and on the man has elevated awareness and interest in the game, and has done so with class. May he soar again for all of us to see.

Navdeep Says:

All the best champ.
Hope to see u go deep in the tournament.

nits Says:

I hope he reaches beyond quarters this time. so Reaching quarters is expected from him he is world no. 8 right now.

nits Says:

I don’t expect him to win but you never know look for Marian cilic.

calmdownplease Says:

Whoever is on Fed’s side has a punchers chance as they will benefit from being on, well, Fed’s side…

calmdownplease Says:

Although I’m about a sure it wont be Nadal as anyone in the top 10.

Seth Says:

I’m surprised so many give Nadal any sort of realistic chance. The talk in some circles during Cincy was that Fed would’ve been in trouble if Nadal had defeated Lopez. Please. Given current form and the surface, Fed would tune Nadal in straights if there were to meet. The Spaniard will not want to be in any of the Big Four’s quarters of the draw in NY.

Seth Says:

*if they were to meet

nits Says:

Last two masters have intensified interest in USO. Both time djokovic lost, to Big 4. It showed he is beatable. To beat djokovic you need to play 100% aggressive if you’re 0.1% less he will save match point & then win ask Anderson, Gulbis, Goffin

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