IPTL in Manila: Nadal looking forward to next season

World number five tennis player Rafael Nadal said on Tuesday (December 8) that he is feeling good after a mixed season and is ready for the start of the 2016 season.

Speaking after his Indian Aces team were defeated by the Philippine Mavericks in the International Premier League Tennis (IPTL) in Manila, Nadal said he could look back on the end of the 2015 season with pride and that he was looking forward to the next season.

Nadal, who has won 14 Grand Slams but none since the 2014 French Open, said he will play as long as he is enjoying his tennis.

“I try my best everyday and then we’ll see what’s going on, I’m happy to be here today,” said the Spaniard.

“I’m happy to compete the way I’m competing these last three months of the season and today, so I am more than happy to keep going, to start another year, in one month, that I’m very excited about and have the motivation to keep on going. For me it doesn’t matter if it’s one, two, three four, five, six years. You know I don’t really think about it, I go day by day. I did in the world of tennis much more than what I ever dreamed. So, I’m going to play whilst I am enjoying this sport. I am happy playing.”

Nadal lost 6-5 to Canadian Milos Raonic in the deciding set of the thrilling match between the two top-ranked side sin the IPTL, but he says it is good practice going into the new season starting in January.

“Any match here happens so quick and to me every match is practice too, and I want to spend that much time at the court as possible,” said Nadal.

Raonic himself believes you have to come into any contest with Nadal with a gameplan and he was pleased to execute and achieve victory on the day.

“Certain things with Rafa (Nadal) you want to stay away from – you want to keeps point short, especially with my game style. You don’t want him to control the points too much. Even in the service games I lost, I felt like I was always inside the court, I was making some unfortunate mistakes in those games, but I stuck to my game, I stuck to the things I believe I do best and tried to execute,” said the Canadian.

Raonic was also quizzed as to whether he is likely to join up with compatriot Vasek Pospisil for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“We spoke briefly about the idea, end of summer I think some period of time there, and from what I understand it’s been confirmed, but we haven’t spoken directly, I think probably we will even try to play a few tournaments leading up to it if that’s how things go,” he said. (Reuters)