“[I have the] highest motivation to try to start well. It’s always important to start well for me, for the confidence. [The] past few months haven’t been easy for me. I just try to have the right practice here before the tournament starts. Then of course, try to help the team. [The] main thing for me now is [to] recover the positive feelings on court, being competitive. I hope to. I am ready to make that happen, but let’s see.”
“Only thing that I am focused now is try to put myself in a competitive level,” Nadal said. “[The] first match [is] going to be against Cam Norrie, so that’s the focus now. Then for me I think is to try to win the first tie as a team more than any individual match. Then let’s see what can happen against Australia.”
Nadal, who has a record men’s 22 Grand Slam titles to Djokovic’s 21, said he was happy to see his superstar rival back.
“Novak is here, good for tennis, good for probably the fans,” the world number two said in Sydney. “Let’s see, no? Best players on court always win.”
Nadal will play at the United Cup so we should get an early clue as to what his physical condition looks like before he defends his Australian Open title.
Russell Fuller’s verdict: Not entirely, I suspect, but Nadal proved last year he can still win Grand Slams in between rest periods. And he is a past master at getting himself fit for the second week at Roland Garros.
PHOTOS: Rafa’s presser in Sydney
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