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Defiant Nadal predicts strong 2012



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Sunday January 29, 2012
Australian Open Sunday Tennis Results
Azarenka predicts exciting new era for women's game
Mattek-Sands and Tecau win Australian Open mixed doubles title
Djokovic wins epic Australian Open final


January 30, 2012


AFP / Paul Crock
2012 AFP -
Beaten Australian Open finalist Rafael Nadal put a brave face on his loss to world number one Novak Djokovic saying his form in Melbourne augured well for the rest of the season.

The Spaniard said he played with an intensity missing in 2011, an encouraging sign with a year of intense competition ahead.

"(I'm) very happy with my level during both weeks. I realize the whole tournament I did well. I did a lot of very positive things, much more than in 2011 for most of the time," he said.

"I played more aggressive. I played more winners than ever. My serve worked well. The mentality and the passion were there.

"So that's very positive aspects on the whole game. So I just lost the final of a grand slam. I am not happy to lose the final, yes, but that's one of the losses that I am happy with in my career."

Djokovic took Sunday night's epic final -- the longest in Grand Slam history -- 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 in a match spanning nearly six hours.


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