ABU DHABI: A revivified Rafael Nadal looked to the future with optimism and emphatically after winning his third Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi by beating Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 at the season-opening annual exhibition at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City.
After slumping to his lowest world ranking (10), since April 2005, last June following poor form, an end-of-year resurgence saw Nadal climb to five.
The 29-year-old, who failed to win a grand slam for the first time since 2004 to add to his tally of 14, said his revival owed much to having “fixed my mental problems”.
When asked how he had achieved this and if had enlisted the help of a sports psychologist, Nadal issued a withering look and said: “I talked about that during the whole year and that’s already done. We don’t live in the past.
“At the same time, I am not talking about the titles I won in 2013 or 2010. I don’t want to talk about 2015 anymore.
“We’re in 2016. I want to talk about today and what’s going on tomorrow.”
“We’ll see. I am playing well,” added Nadal, who said the eighth Mubadala annual exhibition event was “a great way to start the new season”. “I want to be better than what I was two months ago, three months ago, five months ago and I want to improve my level all the time.”
As a ruthless a frontrunner tennis has ever seen, Nadal duly clinched the set 6-3 to complete victory in an hour and 30 minutes.
Nadal’s triumph equalled the three Mubadala titles of the world number one, Novak Djokovic, while there was further joy for Spain earlier in the day when David Ferrer won the third-place play-off with a 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 10-8 victory over Stanislas Wawrinka.
SOURCE: Gulf News