Rafael Nadal Is Getting Into The New York Groove At The Open

Aiming to defend a hard-court Grand Slam title for the first time in his career, Rafael Nadal will draw energy from a rousing source at this US Open.

The boisterous New York City crowd.

“Being honest, I always had a great connection with the crowd here,” Nadal said. “The crowd bring me to another level of energy. That’s something that I enjoy.”

The top-seeded Spaniard met with reporters at US Open media today and said he carries confidence from his summer surge into New York.

Since bowing to Dominic Thiem in the Madrid quarterfinals, Nadal has posted a 22-1 record with his lone loss a classic five-set semifinal setback to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon.   

“Been a great season,” Nadal said. “During Wimbledon, fantastic clay court season, then a very positive start in Toronto of the hard court season playing good event there.

“That’s important for the feelings, for the confidence. That’s give me a chance to rest the week after in Cincinnati, and I am here just trying to improve every day the level of practices I think I’m doing. Just remain, yeah, two more days of practice before Monday I start. I hope to be ready for it.”

The 17-time Grand Slam champion can cut rival Roger Federer’s lead to two in the all-time Grand Slam list if he successfully defends the US Open.

“I played here very well for sort of lot of times,” Nadal said. “When you are back here, you know that you are familiar with the court, you are familiar with the event. You know the conditions. Normally, you are a little bit more confident that you can play well. Then win or lose, it’s just part of the business. It’s about being competitive.”

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