MANILA, Philippines – If there’s anything world no. 5 Rafael Nadal displayed while in Manila for the 2015 International Premier Tennis league, it’s that he can still play the game at the highest level.
Nadal made his season debut by teaming up with Ivan Dodig on Monday to defeat Daniel Nestor and Tomas Berdych in men’s doubles action, followed by a 6-5 (7-3) men’s singles victory over Berdych in the next set.
On Tuesday, Nadal and Dodig beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Richard Gasquet, 6-4, in men’s doubles, but fell to Milos Raonic in a thriller, 6-5 (7-6) during men’s singles action.
After the match, Nadal indicated that retirement still isn’t in his mind, despite the troublesome 2015 campaign he just had.
“You know, I don’t know,” he said. “I play my best every day and then we’ll see what’s going on.”
Nadal opened 2015 as the defending champion in the Qatar Open but fell in 3 sets to Michael Berrer in the first round. Not long after, he was eliminated by Berdych in the Australian Open.
The most glaring loss he had this past year was during the French Open, when he was eliminated in the quarters by Novak Djokovic. The Spanish tennis star also suffered defeats in the Indian Wells and Miami Open tourneys.
“I’m happy to be here today, I’m happy to compete the way I’m competing the last 3 months of the season and today, so I am more than happy to keep going, start of the year, in one month,” said Nadal, who’s been a pro since 2001.
“I’m very excited about [it], and then I have the motivation to keep going.”
Nadal didn’t want to give a specific number on the years left in his career, because he says he himself does not think about it, nor does it matter.
“For me it doesn’t matter if it’s one, two, 3, 4, 5, 6 years. I really don’t think about it. I go day by day,” said the crowd-favorite during the IPTL’s Manila leg.
“I did in the world of tennis much more than I ever dreamed, so I’m going to play until I enjoy this sport and until I’m happy playing.” – Rappler.com