Nadal wins Mubadala tournament to kick off a promising 2016

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal got his 2016 season to a perfect start in Abu Dhabi as he won the Mubadala tournament, beating the defending champion, Milos Raonic 7-6 6-3.

The world No.5 traded sets with the Canadian hard hitter for the first 12 games but took it up a notch in the tie-break, winning 7-3.

Raonic recorded serve speeds of over 220km/h stayed toe-to-toe with the Spaniard throughout the opening set, and he continuously used his serve as a get-out-of-jail card but Nadal halted him out in the second set.

After his victory, the 14-time Grand Slam winner said he was concentrating on getting back to his real level on tour and forgetting a dismal 2015.

“I have talked enough about it [2015] all year. That’s done now and now I want to talk about the competition, the new season.

“We don’t live in the past. I don’t talk about the titles I had won in 2013 or 2010.

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“So I don’t want to talk about 2015 anymore. We are in 2016 now. We have talked enough about 2015 during the past year,” he added.

In 2015, Nadal fell to 10th and almost missed out on the season ending Barclays World Tour final, but he made it and exited in the semi-final to Novak Djokovic, the current No.1.

He continued: “Last year was a tough year for me mentally, but when I was able to fix my mental problems, I started to play much better and I am feeling good now.

“I feel ready for action, ready for the competition. We will see if I am able to keep doing it for the rest of the season,” he added.

With no ATP points on show, Nadal’s season gets off to its real start at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, as he prepares to win for a second time at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year.

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