Saturday, 18 December 2010

World No. 1 Nadal talks about the 2011 Australian Open, Rod Laver’s record and the ATP Tour

Rafael Nadal made his intentions for January very clear during an interview for a Spanish radio show: the current World No. 1 is fully focused on winning the 2011 Australian Open, and it seems as if nothing can deter him from this goal. However, there is one thing which could hold him back: the fear of failure. If he wins the event, he will be the first man since Rod Laver to win four majors in a row, considering that Laver achieved this in 1969, Nadal has quite a record to live up to.

In addition to this, the Spanish star does not make circumstances any easier for himself. He admitted this on Spanish radio, saying, “I am very demanding of myself.” However, he added, “But obviously this has been the best season of my career and I played my best.”

When asked about his confidence levels before the big match, Rafa seems to be slightly overwhelmed by the prospect of competing against some of the best players in the world for such an accomplishment. He prefers to err on the side of caution, instead of making declarations of grandeur, he commented, “It's bit scary to think that if I win in Australia I would close the circle of four Grand Slams in a row, but what's also scary is that I have already won three straight. I'm training and playing pretty well, but until I arrive in Australia, anything can happen.”

Nadal also commented on his chances of winning the Open, and what it would mean for his career. He added that he felt this might be his only chance, saying, “It might be the only opportunity to win four straight because I am not Rod Laver, who did it twice. The truth is that it is a unique opportunity and as always I will get well prepared and try to play well every day."

Another topic which Nadal was very vocal about was the length of the ATP tour season. Although the Association of Tennis Professionals recently agreed to reduce the calendar by two weeks from 2010, the World No. 1 seems to feel that it is still not enough. He says that the “schedule favours short careers” and that it is a “big error” to refuse to cut down the duration of the season. He ended the discussion with a message for the directors of the ATP, saying, “It’s something that should change. We play with too much tension [and] play from January 3rd until November 30th without stopping.”

Courtesy: Bettor

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