Rafael Nadal vowed to double his efforts to get back into top form and bounce back after his most dismal year – this to be able to catch up with world number one Novak Djokovic in 2016.
The Spaniard’s world ranking plunged to No. 10 in 2015 – his long reign as the kings of the French Open ended, and tasted early defeats in Wimbledon and the US Open.
But Nadal, holder of 14 Grand Slam championships, is slowly experiencing a resurgence and his loss to Djokovic in the semifinal round of the ATP World Tour Final in London recently will not deter him as he sets his sights for 2016.
“Very few moments in my career I get frustrated. When one player is better than you, the only thing you can do is try to find (a) solution,” said tennis’ former top man in an interview.
Nadal defeated Andy Murray, David Ferrer, and Stan Wawrinka in the group stages in the season-ending World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena.
But the scorching Djokovic was simply unstoppable as the Serb listed a 6-3, 6-3 victory in their semis battle.
From here, Nadal is now focused on next season – planning a relentless training regimen. He is set to see action in Asia’s International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in Asia this month – part of his preparations for the Australian Open in January.
“My motivation has always been just personal, that I want to improve myself, I want to be better. That’s what I’m going to try to keep doing. We’ll see. 2016 is going to be a new year. Hopefully a better one for me.
“My goal is try to keep being in that top league, that is the top five, top four of the world. That’s my goal, and we’ll see if I am able to keep doing this,” he said.
Still, despite still struggling to find the perfect balance to get back in top form, Nadal is bent on getting Djokovic, who overtook him in the number one spot in July 2014, within an arm’s reach.
“What Novak is doing is just amazing. But it’s obvious that it’s true if somebody can do it, it’s him, but it’s not easy to stay at that high level four or five years in a row.”