Rafa working hard to be Number 1 anew
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal needed just a few seconds Monday to find out that it’s more fun in the Philippines.

The lights at the MOA Arena dimmed when Nadal’s name was called out loud, and when he got out of the tube, the place rocked.

Nadal walked to the center of the court to join the Indian Aces, waving to the crowd, tipping his hat. By this time, he already felt at home.

“The crowd was just unreal today,” said the tennis heartthrob, who saw action twice, and won twice, first in the men’s doubles and then men’s singles.

His presence on the court carried the Aces, the reigning IPTL champions, past the UAE Royals, who were swept in five sets, 30-18.

“It had been a great afternoon for me. It’s been a great crowd behind me. I’m enjoying the people. They’re so friendly,” he said.

Nadal missed playing in last year’s IPTL because of medical reasons but said he’s now aware how exciting this unique team competition is.

He said the format, which puts premium on team effort, makes the game faster, more exciting.

“I’m having a lot of fun,” said the 14-time Grand Slam champion.

Nadal was to face the Philippine Mavericks in yesterday’s final day of the Manila leg.

He looked back at the ATP season and the year that’s about to end, and smiled even after admitting it didn’t turn out the way he wanted.

“It’s not my best season but I finished number five in the world. I hope I’ll be ready in the next season to play in the right level,” he said.

The last time he won a Grand Slam title was in the 2014 French Open. That was his ninth title on the red clay of Roland Garros.

Nadal, who will turn 30 in June, is hoping there’s more to come.

He’s keeping his fingers crossed on this.

“I don’t know if I’m going back to winning Grand Slams. But I’m working hard to try to make that happen,” said the player well-loved by Filipino fans.

“I’m healthy right now,” Nadal said.

ACIRC BUT I CROWD FRENCH OPEN GRAND SLAM GRAND SLAMS INDIAN ACES NADAL PHILIPPINE MAVERICKS RAFAEL NADAL ROLAND GARROS
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