Rafael Nadal hoping to regain form at the Shanghai Masters

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© Getty

Rafael Nadal hoping to regain form at the Shanghai Masters

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SportsCafe Desk


Starting at the Shanghai Masters, Rafael Nadal is looking to return to the kind of form that saw him become one of the best tennis has ever seen. While the 14-time Grand Slam champion has had some success in the 2016 season, he is hoping to end the season with a flourish.

After a semi-final defeat to World number 1 Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells, Rafael Nadal recovered to a good start to 2016 with wins over Gael Monfils(Monte-Carlo) and Kei Nishikori (Barcelona). The 9-time French Open Champion looked ready to challenge the big guns on his favorite surface, but a wrist injury sidelined the injury-plagued Spaniard to the recovery room again, where he would end up for two and a half months.

“I think if you asked me if I was satisfied during the period between Indian Wells and Roland Garros, yes. I had been competing for every tournament that I played and competing against all the players with good chances to have success. And that's the most important thing"," Nadal told atpworldtour.com.

“I'm not satisfied with my performance [this season] because I got injured for two and a half months. I missed very important events. When you come back without practice and you have to compete in another important event without having practice and matches on your shoulders, it's difficult to be satisfied," added the 2009 Australian Open winner.

Nadal did, however, regain fitness by the time the 2016 Rio Olympics came along where he, along with teammate Marc Lopez, ended up on the top step of the podium in the Mens Doubles event. Step by step, Nadal has been working his way back to full fitness and says that he wants to end the season on a high as he prepares for an injury-free 2017 season.

“The level of tennis had been high during that period of time, but, it took a lot of effort for me. I worked so hard to be what I was in that moment. When you break the rhythm with an injury it’s a little bit unlucky, and you need to accept and give more. And that's what I'm doing. I am trying to finish well and trying to be ready again for next season. That's my real goal,” Nadal told atpworldtour.com.

As we reach the conclusion of the 2016 season, Nadal still has a lot to play for this year with almost 1000 points still up for grabs. With four spots still available for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Nadal has his eye on the event, but the Spaniard is more concerned with regaining full fitness and getting ready for next year.

“My only pressure is trying to feel good on court and enjoy doing what I am doing. The goal is just to try to finish the season in the best way possible. Having a very painful injury in the worst moment of the year, it's tough to be back and especially when you are back and still with pain. I will keep working hard as I did today, as I did yesterday, as I do every day to recover the level of my tennis before the injury,” concluded the 14-time Grand Slam winner.

Nadal has been seeded fourth for the Shanghai Open but faces tough opposition in the form of Viktor Troicki in the first round. The Spaniard has been placed in the top half of the draw that included the likes of Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic.

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