Tennis News Wire -
Rafael Nadal may be on a big losing streak against Novak Djokovic, but he says that thoughts of the Serbian do not occupy his mind on daily basis.
Nadal, who appeared before the media at Indian Wells for the first since his epic near six hour loss to Djokovic at the Australian Open, said that he worked hard during his time off in February in Mallorca, but isn't sure if he made enough substantial improvements to be able to take back the top spot.
Djokovic has won their last seven meetings, all in finals.
"You can do a lot of things really well in practice but you need to adapt these things in the game later, and that needs time and matches,” Nadal said. “I say it always the same, I want to improve for me. I don't want to improve to beat Novak, to beat Roger (Federer) or to beat nobody. I try my best every day to improve my level of tennis, to be a better player year by year. And if that's enough to beat Novak, fantastic. If not, I'm gonna keep working.
“When I wake up every morning and I go on court for practice, I don't think about Novak. I think about the things I need to keep improving, I think about myself."
Nadal also mentioned that he feels refreshed and that the next five months are critical to him. It was last year at Indian Wells when Djokovic began to get on top of him, tipping him in the desert final, at the next tournament in Miami, and then in Rome, Madrid, Wimbledon, the US Open and in 2012, in Australia. But he's happier with the way he is striking the ball now as he came very close to besting Djokovic in Australia and feels his power has returned.
"I don't have the spirit of revenge, I don't have the spirit of obsession with another player. My spirit is to try and be a better player every day for myself. That's my satisfaction."