Despite winning just four games off rival Novak Djokovic in the Beijing final yesterday, Rafael Nadal says he’ll still take some positives from the match.
“I take a lot of positive things from the match of today, that’s it,” Nadal said after losing to Djokovic 62, 62. “Is nothing that I have to learn of Novak. Different styles of game. As I said before, he’s the best today without any doubt. I repeat what I said: I do my way. When somebody’s playing like Novak, is very difficult to beat, especially in his favorite surface. Just accept that he’s better today.
“But, seriously, the result was easy for him. The feeling was not that easy. That’s positive for me. After the match, I am more happy than before the match. Even if I lost 6‑2, 6‑2, sounds strange, but that’s my real feeling.”
The final was Rafa’s first on hardcourt since 2014 Miami, an encouraging sign for his fanbase. And he enjoyed good wins over Jack Sock and Fabio Fognini.
“Very happy the way that I played the week, especially because I was able to improve every single match during the week, and especially in quarterfinals after that first set against Sock, I changed that dynamic,” Nadal said “I played closer to the baseline. Yesterday I played a good match. Today I played a good match.
“What I say before: my main goal is try to be 100% ready for the beginning of next season. A week like this one helps a lot.”
Nadal, though, still hasn’t lost sight of returning to the top.
“I going to fight,” he said. “I going to do my way. When I am working, when I was No. 2 and Roger was No.1, was not my obsession to catch Roger. My obsession was to improve my game and do my way. For me is the same thing today. My motivation is keep going, do my way, and I have been that already. I know if I am playing well again, then I can fight. If I can fight, I can compete well times in a row against the best players, then normally I was a good competitor. So I think I going to be good competitor again if I recover my level.”
Nadal heads to Shanghai where he could run into the Roger Federer in the semifinals. But first he’ll contend with Ivo Karlovic in his opener on Wednesday. Though Nadal revealed an issue with his right foot.
“I am enough humble to say that this year have not been the ideal year for me,” Nadal said. “But at the same time I don’t want to lie nobody. Is obvious that I consider myself one of the best players in the world after the career that I having.”
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