Sport | Tennis

Rafael Nadal: An emotional year for me

Spanish ace wants to stick to his think tank

  • By N.D.Prashant, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 20:42 December 26, 2013
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: World number one Rafael Nadal will not be following the footsteps of Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray and look for new coach in any former tennis great.

The Spaniard is happy with his team and feels if there is any slip-up in his game, it is to do with his own fault and not because of his coaching staff.

However, he welcomed the move of having former legends back in the tennis arena as coaches. “It is great to have a great champion in tour games as they bring great charisma to the game. It will be great to have Ivan and Boris around this season. It is a good thing and will do positive things to the tour,” said Nadal, adding: “However, I will stick to my team. I always feel when I play bad, it is my fault and when I’m winning I’m doing the right things. I had success in my career with the same team. I had good and worst moments with the same team. I understand if anything goes wrong, nobody is responsible more than me.”

After a seven-month break with injury since 2013, Nadal spent this year proving the doubters wrong as he made a stunning return to form, taking home a record-breaking eighth French Open title, vanquishing Djokovic in the US Open final and returning to the world No. 1 ranking this October.

“I don’t have to convince nobody, that’s the real thing. I accept the critics, I accept the positive things people say about me. You are in the world of tennis and at times, you can have poor days. However, the only thing that I can do is practice as hard as I can. I always look to keep improving whether in practice or in tournament,” said Nadal adding that, it was an emotional 2013 season for him.

“I said that it was the most difficult thing I did in my career. It was very emotional for the fact that 10 months ago, I didn’t know if I have a chance to be back in this competitive fashion on tour. I didn’t know I will have my game. It was a big surprise and very emotional.”

Though many might be of the view that Roger Federer passed his prime and is on the downslide, Nadal felt that the Swiss ace should look for inspiration from himself. “Federer finished the year much better than the way he started. He showed after Indianwells that he didn’t have the best feeling but then he finished well.

“It depends on his motivation also as he is 32, I think. I understand when you are little bit older then you have to analyse the calender and play for the right tournament. For a player like him, that he is No. 1 for a long time for more ways than ranking. That’s the way I would like to think in my position. I don’t know his mind but that’s my feeling.”

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