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Rafa’s success mantra: Work hard and work with right people


 New Delhi : He does not have many tricks to share on how to be a successful tennis player but Rafael Nadal emphasises on two things — work hard and have the right people around.

Nadal, winner of 14 Grand Slam titles, says he was no different from other kids when he started out and if he can achieve and relish success at the highest level, others also can.

“When I was a kid, I just dreamt about playing at Roland Garros, at Wimbledon, professional tournaments. I am no different than many kids. My motivation and passion to try to reach that dream was the key to our success. We worked hard with motivation. Kids can do it, if I did it,” the Spanish legend said ahead of the opening IPTL match.

“The only thing I can advise is that try to have right people around you, who know about the sport, who really support you and try to help you reach your best level, practise everyday with motivation and passion.

“I had good people around me. Without (coach and uncle) Tony, nothing was possible. I am lucky that someone from my family is my coach forever. We work hard. We work with passion, with love for what we are doing and just trying to do right things to improve every year. That’s the only secret.”

Nadal endured a very modest 2015 season, which was the first in a decade when he did not win a Grand Slam trophy. He managed to win only only three ATP titles in the entire season although his performance improved after the US Open.

Asked if he could add another Major trophy to his collection, Nadal said he can’t say.

“I don’t know when that is going to happen, I don’t know if that is going to happen. All I need to is to play well.”

“2015 has been not been the best season for me. Last three months, I finished much better. I am happy with the way I am playing now and I need to keep going. I have improved in some aspects like grass tournaments. I have to try and continue with that level in the beginning of 2016,” Nadal said.

Ask him if he will try to change something in his game and comes the curt reply, “Different is play better.”

“It’s always difficult to come back from injuries. Sometimes it gets faster, sometimes it is slow. There are no reasons why sometimes you go faster or slow. When you are back, you have to be ready to accept the situation at the beginning and play with best possible tactics.”

The inevitable question on his rivalry with Swiss great Roger Federer also came up.

“The rivalry with Roger has been great for a lot of years and we hope to play more matches. Day after (when they clash in IPTL) it will be a great scenario here (in India) for fans. I am excited to play against him here.”

Nadal also announced his association with Mahesh Bhupathi Tennis Academies (MBTA) with Rafa Nadal Academy. As per the tie-up Indian talent will be scouted and trained in Mancor, the home town of Nadal.

Nadal already runs a Foundation and academy in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh.

“It’s a completely different thing. It will be a professional academy with a school inside. We will try to help kids become better players. We want to give opportunity to kids to live a better life. We will have gym, swimming pool medical centre, everything that kids need to prepare for future. I hope to see some Indian kids come there and train,” Nadal, flanked by MBTA CEO Gaurav Natekar, said.

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