Rafael Nadal may have lost to Novak Djokovic for the sixth successive time in crashing out of the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals, but the Spaniard believes it could be the start of his revival.
Nadal was beaten 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 by the Serb on Saturday as Djokovic marched on to another ATP final, the world number one set to face Milos Raonic for the title.
However, Nadal was upbeat over his form in Indian Wells – where he is a three-time champion – and feels there were enough positives over the week for him to build on as the clay-court season moves closer.
“I am going to try to follow this to keep going at this level,” he said. “If I am able to play weeks in a row at this level, then I can start to think about competing for everything.
“I think I played well for a set and a half; then I think he played well the last part. I played bad again with my serve at 3-2, and then he finished playing well the last two games. He played at a higher level.
“I had my chances in the first set. I felt for a moment that I was competing at the highest level possible.
“I played well during the week. I won very interesting matches, good ones, fighting. [The match] was closer than the last couple of times against the best player of world, so was a very positive week for me.”