I go to Australia very happy, says beaten Nadal

Qatar: Rafa Nadal was happy with his overall preparations for the Australian Open despite suffering a surprise defeat in the semi-finals of the Qatar Open on Friday.

Gael Monfils beat the top-seeded Spaniard 6-3 6-4 to set up an all-French final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga following Roger Federer`s withdrawal due to a back injury.

"I go to Australia very happy about what I did here," Nadal told a news conference. "I think I played a great tournament.

"I played more aggressively than usual, including today, even if I know that`s maybe not the right thing to do. I needed to be a little bit more consistent today but I am doing the things I have to do to compete against the best players in the world."

Last year Nadal lost the Wimbledon and US Open finals to Novak Djokovic and the world number one spot to the Serb, prompting the 10-times grand slam winner to switch to a heavier racket.

"We believe this racket can help to hit the ball longer on the serve," said the world number two.

"I may not win in Australia but I have to keep working like this and I`m going the right way to win in the future."

The first grand slam of the season starts on Jan. 16.

Bureau Report