Nadal wishes to be better in 2008

World number two Rafael Nadal has not set any goals for himself in the new year but wants to be a "better player" in 2008.

updated: January 02, 2008 15:29 IST
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World number two Rafael Nadal has not set any goals for himself in the new year but wants to be a "better player" in 2008.

"I want to be a better player than in 2007. I am not saying that I will win more tournaments. I would like to have better results. I want to play better tennis to be a better player in 2008 as compared to 2007. Winning or losing is not important all the time," Nadal, who has won three Grand Slam titles so far, said.

On his chances in the Chennai Open which starts tomorrow, Nadal, who reached the semifinals in the last edition, said "it is never easy, especially the first match of the year. I have improved my ranking points and have to play well to win."

About the Grand Slams, Nadal said he cannot hope to think of winning all four of them in the same year.

"I don't think I can win the full Grand Slam in a year. Last year, I won the French Open and reached the final at Wimbledon. But right now I'm here. Chennai Open is a good tournament."

On playing doubles, Nadal, the second ranked player for the third year in a row, said "This is the first tournament of the year. It is important I play doubles for practice. I like doubles a lot. When I can, I play a lot of doubles.

"This year, there is special significance because of the Olympic Games. When I feel 100 per cent physically and mentally, I play both."

For Nadal, the Olympics are more important than the Davis Cup.

"Olympics is just behind the four Grand Slams. The Davis Cup is also there but Olympics comes once in four years. It is is a special motivation."

Asked about his injuries last year, the Spaniard said "Papers write something which is not 100 per cent true. I feel 100 per cent fine and last month I was on a week's holiday with my family in Egypt and trained for a week. It (injuries) does not exist at this moment."

As for the draw for the event, the top seeded Nadal said there were good players this year, including Carlos Moya, Marcos Baghdatis, Mikhail Youzhny, Xavier Malisse.

"It is an interesting tournament. I want to enjoy a very nice week. I don't know who is going to win."

About reports of match fixing in tennis, he said "I can say nothing about that. I have not witnessed any strange actions by players on the tour. The press and everyone are speaking about it.

"Tennis is the fairest sport. I have 100 per cent confidence in my friends on the tour. If something is happening this way, ATP is fighting against it."

Asked how long will he remain number two, Nadal said "I would love to be number two for 50 more years. Especially my ranking points of 5735 is a lot... I would have been number one. At this point Roger Federer is the better player, but I cannot say of the future."

On not so being successful on surfaces other than clay, Nadal said, "it is very difficult to play well all year. I am not worried about Roger. He is better than the other guys at the moment. But a lot of young guys are coming from behind (these days)," he added.