Nadal's Fighting Talk
Spaniard looking to build momentum in Basel
There was fighting talk from a determined Rafael Nadal on Saturday as he prepares to compete in Switzerland for the Swiss Indoors Basel. The Spaniard is not only looking for a strong finish to the 2015 ATP World Tour season, but also to lay the groundwork for what he hopes will be a return to his best form in 2016.
“I start preparing for next season today,” Nadal told media on Saturday ahead of his fourth appearance at the ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard court tournament. “There will be no rest this year. I have no time. After the [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals I will try to have a few days off, but that’s it.”
The 29-year-old Nadal has endured up and down fortunes in 2015, but is pleased with the improvements he has made mentally during the challenging campaign. The recent ATP World Tour Asian swing was a great source of encouragement for the left-hander, who reached the Beijing final (l. to Djokovic) and lost a close semi-final in Shanghai (l. to Tsonga).
“I’ve improved most mentally this season,” said Nadal. “I have the motivation to keep going and what motivates me is to find a way to play at the highest level possible and to put myself in a position to fight for the things I want to fight for. My goal is to enjoy tennis and compete in all the tournaments and be happy with what I am doing.”
Nadal is the third seed in Basel, joining Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Kevin Anderson, Richard Gasquet and John Isner in the stacked field. Rising Croatian star Borna Coric also returns, one year on from stunning Nadal in the quarter-finals to reach his first ATP World Tour semi-final (l. to Goffin).
Nadal opens his campaign against Lukas Rosol and is looking to continue building momentum as he hopes for a strong finish at his remaining three tournaments this year: Basel, Paris and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The Mallorcan is also in the doubles draw in Basel alongside Marc Lopez.
“My main goal is to try and work hard and finish this year with a lot of energy and a better level than I’ve shown this year,” said Nadal. “For sure, every victory and every practice helps. I’m healthy and that’s allowing me to practise quite a lot.
“Mentally I’m feeling great, with the motivation to keep going. The process during this year has been better. I’m working hard to be better tomorrow than today. That’s the way that I’m working. We can’t compare years and we can’t compare levels. I believe I’m going in the right way.”