Former world no. 1 tennis star Rafael Nadal has further delayed his comeback after pulling out of the upcoming Qatar Open.
Despite falling to defeat against Cameron Norrie on Saturday, Spain tennis legend Rafael Nadal is enjoying the team atmosphere at the United Cup as he looks to take the positives from his opening performance of the season at the United Cup.
The World No 2, who won the first set in Sydney, was competing for the first time since November, when he played at the ATP Finals in Turin. He eventually fell to Norrie 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday.
“It was not a disaster at all. I can do things better, and I need to do it. But as I said, I have not had many matches. I think he played the first match two days ago. I think that’s an advantage, especially if you win the match the way that he did,” Nadal said.
“And then I need to be a little bit faster physically, a little bit more solid, some fewer mistakes and making better decisions at some point, playing a little bit longer. I think there is a way to improve, but I have time before the Australian Open starts in two weeks.
But either way, we still focus on this competition. Let’s support Nuria [Parrizas Diaz], and then let’s see what can happen, because we need to win this tie to keep having any chances,” he added.
The 36-year-old is spearheading Team Spain at the United Cup this week, a new mixed-teams event held across Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. Nadal, who is teaming with WTA star Paula Badosa and Montreal champion Pablo Carreno Busta, has enjoyed the experience so far.
“It is a good atmosphere. We know each other. We are working well as a team,” Nadal said. “But it is true that the competition, the format doesn’t give you a lot of chances, a lot of room for mistakes. Losing my match now we are under a lot of pressure. So let’s see,” he said.
Nadal will face Alex de Minaur in his next singles match on Monday, with Team Australia and Team Britain making up Group D.