Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal said that he was happy with the improvement in his game after a below-par year, and looked forward to reigniting his long-time rivalry with Roger Federer in India.

Nadal is in New Delhi to represent the Indian Aces in the third leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), while Federer is playing for the UAE Royals, and the two are scheduled to meet on Saturday 12 December. Nadal, the world number five, said on 10 December he has always enjoyed playing against Federer and hoped they would do so for years to come.

"The rivalry with Roger has been great for a lot of years and we hope to keep playing some good matches. We are going to have another confrontation here in India that I think is going to be a great scenario here, with a lot of fans and I am very excited to play here against him," said the Spaniard.

The former world number one, who has had an injury-plagued season, failed to add to his 14 major titles this year; it was the first time he failed to win a grand slam event since 2004. The 29-year-old slumped to 10th in the rankings in June, although he showed glimpses of his old form in the latter weeks of the season, beating world number four Stanislas Wawrinka and number two Andy Murray at the ATP World Tour Finals.

"2015 has been not the best season possible. Last three months I finished much better, happy the way that I am playing now and I need to keep going. That's the thing, I need to keep going in the same way that I finished at the 2015 season. I think I improved a lot in some aspects in last tournament. So that's the way and we are going to keep working hard to continue with that level at the beginning of 2016," said Nadal.

The five-team, IPTL meetings include five one-set shoot-outs in men's and women's singles, men's and mixed doubles and a legends singles match, with the team that wins the most games, not sets, declared the winner. After Delhi, the IPTL moves to Dubai from 14-16 December and then Singapore from 18-20 December.