The world No.1 led Spain to the Davis Cup title simply over three weeks in the past then went on a brief break earlier than starting his preparations for the brand new season.
On Friday, Nadal picked up proper the place he left off as he shocked himself by placing collectively a devastating 6-1, 6-Three efficiency towards Russian world No.17 Karen Khachanov in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi.
“That was an excellent masterclass. Rafa wants to inform me how a lot I have to pay him,” Khachanov joked after the match.
Nadal feels it was a victory that proved he can sustain his momentum from his robust end to the 2019 season effectively into the brand new yr.
“I used to be just a little bit shocked the best way that I performed. I’ve been enjoying effectively on the finish of the season. And it was simply 15 days in the past, just a little bit extra that I used to be profitable the Davis Cup with Spain with the remainder of the blokes, so issues went fast,” Nadal informed reporters within the UAE capital on Friday.
“And sooner or later it is unfavourable that we did not have a whole lot of time (between seasons) however alternatively I completed enjoying effectively and that helps to maintain going enjoying effectively.”
Nadal’s reward is a Saturday showdown with ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-Four earlier within the day.
The 21-year-old Tsitsipas, ranked No.6 on this planet, informed the press forward of the motion in Abu Dhabi that one his principal objectives for 2020 is to finish the yr among the many prime three, which suggests he would wish to squeeze out one of many present ‘Massive Three’ of Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer.
“It is good that he has an excellent ambition,” Nadal mentioned of the younger Greek.
“It is essential to have clear objectives, after which it’s important to do it, and it is one thing tough as a result of being within the prime three is just not simple. There are a whole lot of gamers that can battle to be within the larger positions of the rating, however in fact he had an important season and he’ll battle for essential issues.”
Djokovic additionally sees nice potential in Tsitsipas, who has already claimed two wins over the Serbian world No.2 in 4 profession conferences.
“Undoubtedly he is acquired the sport, he is acquired a very good strategy, I feel, to tennis, he is very skilled, very decided, he is acquired all the weather he wants with a purpose to attain that,” mentioned Djokovic. “So now in fact it is a large activity for anyone actually to be prime three within the yr. It means it’s important to be enjoying persistently effectively all through the whole season, actually not having any too many fallbacks, or God forbid accidents.
“However he is positively matured loads and outcomes are proving that.”
Djokovic was not discouraged by his loss to Tsitsipas on Friday and is for certain he has time to hit his finest degree forward of subsequent month’s Australian Open, the place he hopes to win a record-extending eighth title.
“The offseason wasn’t that lengthy and I only in the near past began enjoying tennis, however for the extent that I type of thought I might be on, that is constructive,” Djokovic mentioned.