Rafa: I am playing with energy
Originally published on: 22/03/12 10:16
There was a time when Rafael Nadal would not have considered taking a lengthy break early in the season, but the world No.2 believes his performances in Indian Wells last week proved that he now finds it easier to rediscover his form after a period away from the court.
Nadal rested a sore shoulder after the Australian Open and did not return to competition until the first Masters 1000 tournament of the season. He was quickly back into his stride in Indian Wells, winning four matches before losing to Roger Federer in the semi-finals.
“If I had not played for a month and a half five years ago it would probably have been much more difficult for me to compete well,” Nadal said. “Now if I stop for a while I don’t lose my rhythm as much as I used to. Before, it was much more difficult for me. I think my game has improved a little bit and when I come back I have more solutions, more options to choose from. Before, I needed to be on a run of matches to play my best.”
Nadal, who plays his first match in this week’s Masters 1000 tournament in Miami tomorrow against Santiago Giraldo, said he had been pleased with his start to the year. The Spaniard reached the semi-finals in Doha, played in an epic Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic and reached the last four in Indian Wells.
“I am playing with energy,” he said. “I’ll consider this a good year if I keep playing the way that I am playing. Even if I don’t win something really important, I am happy. For sure the titles are important, but the most important thing at this moment of my career is the feeling.”
He added: “I am enjoying the tour. That’s the most important thing, to keep doing it this way. That’s the way to have success this year – and to play aggressively.”