“Good news of course. One more year at the age of 36. Finish the year probably, if nothing goes wrong, in the Top 5. Yeah, it’s better than what we expected when we started the year and we didn’t know much about how the things [were] going to go,” Nadal said. “[I am] happy. But things are [going to] keep going here. Happy to stay alive after tonight. Now is the moment to play better. I hope to be ready to make that happen.”
Nadal, the leader in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin, is in pole position to finish year-end No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the sixth time (2008, ’10, ’13, ‘17, ’19), which would tie him for the second-most year-end No. 1 finishes in history (since 1973) with Pete Sampras. The 36-year-old will try to lift the Nitto ATP Finals trophy for the first time when he makes his debut in Turin.
- Nadal on his US Open hopes: “Now is the time to play better” | tennismajors.com
But Nadal is intent on adding to his Grand Slam tally and picking up a fifth US Open title. To do that, he will need to raise his game, having struggled in his first two matches, including his second one against Fabio Fognini, when he compounded matters by hitting himself in the face with his racquet, causing a nose bleed which left him dizzy for a few moments.
“Happy to stay alive after tonight. Now is the moment to play better. I hope to be ready to make that happen,” he said.
“I am practising much, much better than what I am playing. That’s a positive thing. Then I need to make that happen on the matches. It’s something that is not easy. But I’m making a step forward.”
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