A 7-5, 7-5 consolation win over Casper Ruud on Thursday at the ATP Finals was all it took to set Rafael Nadal on a positive course for January’s Australian tennis summer.
Nadal earned a victory in his third and final group match at the season wrapup and found his spirits lifted after losing his first two this week.
The 36-year-old new father said he will get to Australia in plenty of time to adapt well to conditions at the Open, which begins on January 16.
“If I’m winning matches with good confidence, I normally don’t have big problems in getting competitive on every single court or surface,” he said.
But he warned: “Australia going to be a challenge, it’s the beginning of the season. I’ve played well (there) plenty of times, even if I only won twice (2009 and last January over Daniil Medvedev).
The 22-time Grand Slam champion added: “If nothing goes wrong, I’m going to be there early – that’s what I need.
“Even if it’s an effort for me and a sacrifice to leave very early from home, I
think that’s what I need to do after what happened the last five (abdominal injury) months.
“I’ll try to be there early to prepare myself for the rest of the season.”