Rafa Nadal said his game needed more consistency after his return from injury as the Spaniard reached the final of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 on Saturday, but added that he was delighted with the attitude he had shown this week.
The 20-times major winner was made to toil by the aggressive Finn Emil Ruusuvuori in a 6-4 7-5 win at the Rod Laver Arena that witnessed some heavy hitting from the baseline by both players. read more
“Of course I need to do a lot of things better on court, but the only thing that I am not missing is that positive attitude — don’t get frustrated when things are not going the way I wanted,” said Nadal, playing his first competitive tournament since August.
“It’s normal that I’m having mistakes. It’s normal that sometimes I am a little bit slower than usual. But it’s a process, and I always believed in the process during all my tennis career, and victories help.”
The top seed was impressed with 22-year-old Ruusuvuori, who was equal to whatever Nadal threw at him but eventually let down by his lack of experience.
“He’s very young. He’s improving. He has big potential, so I wish him all the very best. Yeah, he had his chances tonight, and I’m happy to win against a good player like him,” added Nadal.
The former world number one faces qualifier Maxime Cressy in Sunday’s final after the American knocked out former world number three Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-5 7-6(9).
“(Cressy) is serving huge, playing very, very aggressive, and in fast conditions he’s very dangerous, so well done for him for being in the final … I hope tomorrow I will be able to play at a high level and create my chances,” added Nadal.
The event in Melbourne is among a series of warm-up events ahead of the Australian Open, which gets underway on Jan. 17.