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Page last updated at 20:08 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

Nadal upbeat despite losing run

ATP World Tour Finals
Venue: O2 Arena, London Date: 22-29 November
Tournament coverage: Live on BBC Two, 28/29 November, 1430 GMT; every match live on BBC Radio 5 live/5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on BBC Sport website; live coverage every day on Sky Sports

Rafael Nadal
Nadal did not win a single set in his three matches at the O2 Arena

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at the O2 Arena

Rafael Nadal remained upbeat despite losing all three matches at the ATP World Tour Finals and vowed to rediscover his attacking game in 2010.

The 23-year-old world number two had a poor end to the year but insisted he would hit top form for the new season.

"This tournament gave me the opportunity to see what I have to do to play better and to start the next year better," said the Spaniard.

"The goal is try to play hard and arrive generally in perfect condition."

Nadal won his sixth Grand Slam title - and first on hard courts - at the the Australian Open in January, but lost his French Open title and was unable to defend his Wimbledon crown because of a knee injury.

606: DEBATE
The Flying Pie1874

An abdominal injury then hampered him at the US Open and he lost all six sets he played in London this week as he was defeated by Robin Soderling, Nikolay Davydenko and Novak Djokovic.

But Nadal insisted that his first experience of the O2 Arena had not been one he would try to forget in a hurry.

"I don't want to forget one tournament, I only want to forget the tournaments I didn't play for the injuries," he said.

"For the rest, every tournament is important. If you lose, you have to learn with the victories and the losses. Better with the victories than to lose."

Asked how he planned to regain the baseline dominance he has enjoyed in recent years, Nadal said: "Just work to have a little bit more control of the shots, have the feeling that when you are playing a point you're not going to make a mistake.

"The other is to play more aggressive. For example, I have to be more aggressive on the first shot. After the serve, when I hit the first forehand, I have to attack more than I did in the last few months.

"When you are with less confidence, it's more difficult to do, but it's going to come back. And when the confidence comes back, I have to be ready.

When you feel better physically you can play more aggressive because you're not feeling tired after the points

Rafael Nadal

"I need to play more aggressive with the forehand, recover my forehand winner and my rhythm on the forehand. When I am playing well with the forehand, the backhand is going to improve a lot."

And, having insisted all week that he was fully fit after a season of injuries, he admitted: "The battery sometimes finishes and you have to buy another one.

"That's what I'm going to do for next year - charge and practise hard. Only practising can you come back to your best level. That's what I did all my life, I'm going to still do it. When you feel better physically you can play more aggressive because you're not feeling tired after the points."

The season is not quite over for Nadal as he now heads to Barcelona to join up with the Spanish Davis Cup team ahead of next weekend's final against the Czech Republic.



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see also
Djokovic reign ends despite win
27 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Nadal v Djokovic as it happened
27 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Davydenko wins to knock out Nadal
25 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Nadal v Davydenko as it happened
25 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Soderling stuns Nadal in London
23 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Nadal v Soderling as it happened
23 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis



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