“I am a lucky person,” says humble Nadal after quarter final defeat to Tsitsipas

Former Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal said he had no complaints and was still a ‘lucky person’ despite the disappointment of surrendering a two-set lead against Stefanos Tsitsipas to lose his quarter final.

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Nadal, whose only ever Australian title came in 2009, was seemingly cruising to yet another semi final after taking the opening two sets in dominant style 6-3, 6-2. Yet when Tsitsipas dug deep to win the third set tie breaker, it seemed to free him up to play his best tennis and secure a dramatic comeback victory.

Watch Eye of the Coach: Tsitsipas ready to win a Grand Slam

Coming into the tournament, Nadal had been struggling with a back problem and decided to sit out playing for Spain in the ATP Cup. And when asked if that had any effect as the match wore on, Nadal was adamant in his response.

“No. No, no problems with my back,” said Nadal in the press conference. “That’s sport. Sometimes things go well; other times the things goes worse. Unfortunately for me in this tournament I had more injuries than in the others. Then matches that you lose like today against one of the best players of the world is something that happens.”

 

“I am not the guy that I gonna find excuses on that or gonna complain about what happened, no. Just accept. I never considered myself an unlucky person at all. Doesn’t matter the injuries that I had. I think I am a very lucky person.”

It may come as a surprise to many that Nadal has only one Australian Open title to his name in a glittering career that has seen him capture an incredible 20 Grand Slam singles titles, 13 of those on his beloved Roland Garros clay.

Mindful of that, the Spaniard was quick to play down what, of course, must have been a bitter disappointment not to be able to add to that tally in Melbourne.

“Not at all feeling unlucky for me and not at all I complaining about my luck here in Australia. Everyone have what deserves. Tennis isn’t a sport that is fair. I have what I deserved in my career, and over here in Australia I had chances, but I was not able to convert it. That’s all. I didn’t deserve more. Can’t find a lot of things or excuses or reasons, but one reason is I was not able to convert the opportunities that I had in my career here since today. Next year gonna be another year.

“Of course sad. I lost a match in quarterfinals of an event that mean a lot to me. Australian Open is one of my favorite events, without a doubt. So I missed an opportunity to be in that semifinals again. And that’s it.”

One excuse that Nadal may have been able to make was the obvious one about the lack of match practice coming into the tournament and then having to quarantine before playing. Again, Nadal refused to use that as any excuse.

“I think I was in great condition before here. Then have been with bit unfortunate for me what happened for 20 days, and then I fight back to play I think a decent tennis. But honestly, this was the first event that we had to do this quarantine. We didn’t have events before that with this quarantine.”

Following their quarter final match on Tuesday, both Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev agreed the tour needed to consider cancelling tournaments coming up that needed quarantine situations, due to the number of injuries that were occurring. For Nadal, there was only one clear option. Stop the tour, or keep going.

“I mean, the situation is that we are facing is tough, and the world is facing a very tough situation. That’s very clear. And he’s completely right that for our sport things are difficult because governments are changing the rules constantly. So it’s difficult to make predictions about how the things gonna happen.

“But there is very clear thing, you know. There is two options. Two options is stop the tour or keep going. My personal feeling is it’s tough for the players, of course, have to do bubbles in every single event, flying just plus two, a lot of players have family and they cannot have the family with them, so that makes our tour probably tougher than ever, no?

“But in the other hand, if we stop the tour, why and how and when we will be able to come back, and a lot of jobs gonna suffer a lot. I mean, not only players. A lot of people are living from our sport, no? If we stop our sport again, a lot of people gonna suffer, no?”

Rafael Nadal

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