Sunday, October 2, 2011

Nadal Returns To Tokyo To Defend Title

Nadal Returns To Tokyo To Defend Title

Rafael Nadal will begin his title defence at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships against Go Soeda.

“It’s exciting to come back to Tokyo,” said Nadal. “For me the motivation is high and it’s always exciting to come back to every place around the world, but especially when you come back and you won last year, the memory and emotions are higher. Last year was an important victory for me. I’m back here and looking forward to go on court, practice, know a little bit about the conditions this year and try to feel good as soon as possible.”

Nadal beat Gael Monfils in the final last year, and hoped for an opportunity to explore the city in between his on-court campaign.

“It’s an exciting city. Last year I didn’t have the chance to visit much. This year I will try to know a little more about Tokyo and for sure this is an important tennis tournament,” he said. “I had a fantastic result last year and I’m excited to be back and try my best another time. That’s what I will try, to try my best at every moment, have good practices today and tomorrow in order to be ready for Tuesday.”

Nadal is also happy to show support to a country affected by a devastating earthquake and tsunami this past March.

“It was a really hard year for all the Japanese people, for the people…The reason why I’m here is because I believe this is a fantastic country, I believe it’s a safe country and at the same time, the people are very, very nice. I always send all my support to all the people here in Japan, and I’m here to support this country.”

The East Japan Earthquake Charity Fund, along with Nadal and Argentine David Nalbandian, received $10,000 ATP ACES For Charity grants Sunday in a presentation on centre court.

“The tennis family is always ready to help with the problems that have happened around the world,” said Nadal. “I’m sure we will find some good ideas for the future to keep helping Japan.”

Article from ATP