Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal has said the bitter disappointment of last year’s narrow five-set loss to Roger Federer in the Australian Open final will not give him any extra motivation for this year’s opening Grand Slam.
“It is impossible to be more motivated than last year or any year,” the world number one told Xinhua news agency on Saturday.
“For me the Australian Open, if you are not 100 percent motivated to win this tournament, you probably don’t love the sport.”
Despite a stellar 2017, which saw the 31-year-old claim the US Open and a record 10th French Open title, Nadal talked down the significance of beginning the year with the No.1 ranking.
“It is better to start No.1 than No.20,” the Spaniard said.
“But everyone starts from zero. I start from zero again. It’s a new season, an exciting one and I hope to be healthy, competitive and, most importantly, to enjoy tennis.”
“I just think about my first round… It’s the first match of the year and I don’t think further than that. I take it day by day as I always have.”
Nadal’s first hit out of the 2018 Australian Open will take place on Monday, when he faces Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic, who currently ranks 81 in the world.