Rafael Nadal: 'That's the only tournament that looks like...'

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Rafael Nadal: 'That's the only tournament that looks like...'

With the luxury of a late start to the inaugural United Cup, the Spain team made the most of the free time and took a trip to iconic Sydney Harbor on Thursday. Led by Rafael Nadal, Pablo Carreño Busta and Paula Badosa, the Spaniards will open the game on Saturday, New Year's Eve, against Great Britain.

"We are going to do everything possible to start in a good way and then enjoy the last day of the year," said Nadal. "Starting with a good result on the 31st helps to end the year on a positive note... We are going to work as a team and we are going to see if we can [take advantage of] our opportunities." The 36-year-old has never played for Spain in the Hopman Cup and is enjoying the unique experience of the mixed event in Australia.

"It's a new experience, a new type of competition," he said of the United Cup. "I think all of us are very excited to enjoy this special... We never work as a mixed team." While Nadal and World No. 13 Carreño Busta give Spain strong ATP Tour representation, Badosa will be an equally important part of the team's success.

The 25-year-old reached his career-high ranking of No.2 last April and enters this season at World No. 13. "It's my second time here in Sydney," said Badosa, who won a WTA 500 in the city to kick off her 2022 season a year ago.

"Last year when I came here, I really enjoyed it. I went for a walk, I went to visit the opera... good restaurants too".

Rafa Nadal won two Slams in 2022

Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal mentioned that Nick Kyrgios could win any tournament he plays as he has all the required skills and talents.

"I know he doesn't like a lot to play Roland Garros. That's the only tournament that looks like he doesn't like to play that much. The rest of the tournaments, he played final in Wimbledon, and in New York he was close to the finals I think, with a very positive chance," said Rafa.

"He can win in any tournament that he's playing. He has all the talent, the weapons to win against any player. Of course he can," added Nadal. Rafael Nadal said he is really looking forward to starting the season as he prepares to headline Spain's United Cup title quest in Sydney.

The 36-year-old will represent his nation in the new 18-country mixed team event, taking place in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney from December 29 to January 8. "Always the start of the season is exciting," Nadal said at Spain's pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday. “For everyone [it is] something new, all the doubts, how things [are] going to go."

Rafael Nadal