Get breaking news alerts from myKhel

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X

Nadal optimistic of mounting Australian Open challenge

Rafael Nadal

Melbourne, January 10: Rafael Nadal says it is "not ideal" to have missed the Brisbane International but is optimistic he will be ready to mount another strong challenge for the Australian Open title.

A knee injury has prevented Nadal from playing a competitive match since losing to David Goffin at the ATP World Tour Finals in November.

Nadal training hard ahead of Australian Open

The 16-time grand slam champion returned for a defeat to Richard Gasquet at the Kooyong Classic on Tuesday and is hopeful a lack of match practice will not hold him back in Melbourne.

"Last year's season was a bit long and I had to start a little bit later than I would've liked. For me it was not ideal to not be in Brisbane, I would have loved to be there but I had to make a different schedule this year," said the world number one, who is starting a new era without coach, mentor and uncle Toni Nadal in his corner.

"For the first time I have to play here at the Australian for the first tournament of the year. I'm excited about it and I've got a few days to practice.

"Yesterday was a good practice at Kooyong. Today, I have another good round of practicing and I hope to be ready for it."

Nadal was beaten by Roger Federer in an epic final last year, but felt that setback helped him to kick on for the remainder of a season which saw him claim the French Open and US Open titles.

"It was a very important two weeks here last year. I was talking with Lleyton before and of course it was tough losing that final because winning 3-1 in the fifth in the final of a grand slam, it's always tough to lose it," he added.

"But I didn't take that in a negative way. For me, it was a very positive two weeks, a lot of positive energy from the fans here in Australia.

"That gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season and I think I played great all of the season, playing very competitively in all the events I played. Especially on clay, I had an amazing clay court season. Then I played very well in the US Open too."

Source: OPTA

For Quick Alerts
Subscribe Now
For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

    Story first published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 15:00 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jan 10, 2018
    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Mykhel sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Mykhel website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more