Dominant Nadal takes nothing for granted ahead of Miami
Rafael Nadal is resisting the temptation to arrive in Miami with a swagger in his step for the ATP event starting this week, despite having won the two biggest men's titles so far this year.sports Updated: Mar 24, 2009 14:12 IST
Rafael Nadal is resisting the temptation to arrive in Miami with a swagger in his step for the ATP event starting this week, despite having won the two biggest men's titles so far this year.
The Spanish left-hander claimed his sixth grand slam singles crown at the Australian Open last month before adding the opening Masters Series tournament in Indian Wells on Sunday.
Nadal pummelled British world number four Andy Murray 6-1 6-2 in a lopsided final in swirling winds at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden but is wary of how quickly tennis fortunes can fluctuate.
"I'm very happy to win here, it's an important victory for me," the 22-year-old told reporters after clinching his 33rd ATP title and 13th in a Masters Series event.
"But as I have said before, the good thing of tennis is when you lose you have another chance the next week.
"The bad thing is when you win, next Tuesday you are like this another time," world number one Nadal added with a broad grin while pretending to throttle himself with one hand.
"You never know what's going on in two months, in five months, in seven months so it's very difficult to play during all the year at the same level, your best level.
"If I am playing at my best level, if Murray has a good day, he has a good chance to beat me or (Roger) Federer or (Novak) Djokovic or a lot of players. Every tournament is really tough."
Regardless of Nadal's comments, any opponent taking on the Spaniard in Miami will certainly face an uphill task.
The nimble left-hander has proved he can win on any surface and, since supplanting Federer as world number one in August, he has steadily tightened his grip on the men's game.
"I think I have more options to do," Nadal said of the improvements in his tennis over the last 12 months. "I can do more things than before. I can change the rhythm with one sliced backhand.
"I am serving okay. In some moments against (David) Nalbandian in the match points, I served very well."
At Indian Wells, Nadal saved five match points before beating Argentina's Nalbandian 3-6 7-6 6-0 in the fourth round.
"When I am playing good, I can play more inside than before," said the Spaniard, who has won three of the last four grand slam singles titles.
"Before, to win every match, I had to run much more than right now. But now I am in control of the point much more than before."