- Nadal confident about being “very competitive” in 2016 (gulfnews.com)
“I had a great off season in Majorca, where there was unbelievable weather and we were able to practice as much as we wanted,” he told media on the first day of the event at the International Tennis Stadium at Zayed Sports City.
Nadal bristled at the suggestion from one reporter about whether he could make a “comeback” from his ailing fortunes.
“I am number five of the world. It seems like I am number 50 or something. I didn’t have the best season possible, but without having the best season possible and playing rubbish five months of the season, to be able to finish number five is not bad news. I don’t expect an amazing comeback, I expect an improvement of my level of tennis and my level of competition. If I make that happen, I hope to be competitive.”
Nadal says partnering with Garbine Muguruza or Carla Suarez Navarro in mixed doubles is a “possibility” but that it is not his call to make.
“I’m going to try to play as much as I can in the Olympics. I don’t know if it’s going to be my last Olympics or not, you never what’s going on in the future. So I want to enjoy as much as I can. 2012 I missed it for a knee injury so it was a tough moment. This year I hope to be ready for Rio and I want to compete as much as I can,” he says.
- Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers: Rafa Down, Not Out (ATP World Tour)
There’s no getting around it: Rafael Nadal’s numbers were below his customary high standards in 2015. As his Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers stats show (see chart below), the Spaniard’s performance fell nearly across the board.
But even in a down year — one in which he failed to win a Grand Slam for the first time in more than a decade — the 28-time ATP Masters 1000 titlist still managed to finish inside the Top 10 in several key categories, including first-serve percentage (68%) and second-serve points won (55%).
Is the decline of Rafael Nadal imminent?
Nadal struggled with consistency and nagging injuries but still finished the 2015 season ranked the No. 5 on the ATP Tour. Will 2016 be a rebound season where Nadal claims his 10th French Open title or will the 14-time Grand Slam champion once again go without winning an ATP Masters or major title?
- Rafael Nadal talks to the media in Abu Dhabi at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship