In the earthquake that occurred in New York, Rafael Nadal was eliminated by the American Frances Tiafoe in the round of 16. For the first time since 2017, the Spaniard failed to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam (losing to Gilles Müller at Wimbledon). It’s also his first defeat in a Major of the season (victory at the Australian Open and Roland-Garros, forfeited at Wimbledon).
Empowered, Tiafoe played probably the best tennis of her career. In contrast, Nadal looked less active than usual, below his normal level. An observation he made at a press conference: “I haven’t been able to maintain a high level of tennis over time. I wasn’t fast enough in my moves, in many cases he managed to get the ball too early and I couldn’t get it back. Tennis is generally a positional sport. Otherwise, you have to be very fast and very young. I’m not in this era anymore (smile) ».
“We can complain about many things, but that doesn’t change the situation”
The Spaniard admitted that his opponent was defeated. ” better “ more than that. “He served well, got the ball early, counted on a good backhand. Explained Mallorca. And it goes fast, everybody knows that. But I think I didn’t push him hard enough to make him suspicious. Tennis is always a balance. When someone does not play that well, it is easier for the opponent to play better. »
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Nadal: “It’s normal for things to look dark 15 minutes after a defeat at the final Grand Slam of the season. But the days will pass and I’ll continue as I’ve done throughout my career. I’m sure I have less power to succeed.”
— Quentin Moynet (@QuentinMoynet) September 5, 2022
However, he refused to attribute this defeat to his recent injuries, particularly the rupture of his abs that contracted at Wimbledon: “We can complain about many things, but this does not change the situation. You might think that if I hadn’t been injured, maybe I would have won Wimbledon, maybe I would have won something else in the past. Or maybe I’m losing something else because I couldn’t create that inner strength after all the pain. It’s part of my career. »
“Time to reset”
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Now is the time to rest for the potential new world No. 1, especially now that he’s going to be a soon-to-be dad. Indeed, his wife, Xisca Perello, will give birth to the couple’s first child in the coming months. “I’ll go home first. With the birth of my first son, there will be more important things in my private life than tennis. it’s time to do something. Reset (Reset). Then go back to professional life, back to training, maybe do a mini pre-season in Europe to end the year with good feelings. »