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Nadal not obsessed with beating Djokovic

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Originally published on: 15/03/12 11:20

Rafael Nadal may have lost his last seven finals to Novak Djokovic – including each of the last three Grand Slams – but the 25-year-old Mallorcan says he’s not obsessed with beating Novak Djokovic.

“I don’t have the spirit of revenge. I don’t have the spirit of obsession of another player,” said Nadal. “I want to improve to beat Novak and Roger. I try every day to improve my level of tennis. But whenever I go on the court for practice I don’t think about Novak, I think about getting better.

Speaking from Indian Wells, where he is contesting his first tournament since losing to the world No.1 in the longest Grand Slam final in history at the Australian Open, Nadal professes to fond memories of their near six-hour encounter. “It was a great match, great quality and it was physically demanding and emotional. He won, I lost and I was happy to be part of that,” he said.

Despite his run of defeats to the Belgrade native, Nadal still holds a 16-14 career advantage over Djokovic and is adamant the Serb’s dominance will have to come to an end at some point. “He brings tennis to another level. But nobody is forever,” said Nadal. “There was Federer then something happened and then Djokovic and in three to five years when I come back here there will be somebody better than him. I don’t know if it will be me the one to have success. Victories for everybody have an end.”

Nadal, who won the singles event in the Californian desert in 2007 and 2009, will also play doubles alongside Marc Lopez, aiming for a repeat of their 2010 triumph and to get some much needed match-tightness. “My reason for playing doubles is that I didn’t play for a month,” said Nadal. “I think doubles is a good way to practice for everybody, where you can practice different movements, different shots.”

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