MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A chastened Rafa Nadal mentioned even his finest tennis could haven’t been sufficient in opposition to a rampant Novak Djokovic after being thrashed by the Serb within the Australian Open last on Sunday.
Tennis – Australian Open – Males’s Singles Remaining – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 27, 2019. Spain’s Rafael Nadal attends a profitable ceremony after the match in opposition to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic. REUTERS/Aly Tune
The Spanish second seed got here into the conflict in outrageous kind however was dominated all through the 6-Three 6-2 6-Three loss at Rod Laver Enviornment, the worst in his Grand Slam rivalry with the world primary.
Though reaching the ultimate with out dropping a set, Nadal mentioned he was nonetheless in need of his finest after a protracted damage lay-off following the U.S. Open and lacked an edge to stress the Serb.
“After all, he performed, I feel, implausible. On the similar time it’s true that when he’s enjoying that means, I feel I wanted one thing else,” the 17-times Grand Slam champion Nadal advised reporters.
“I used to be not in a position to have that further factor tonight, being sincere.
“Taking part in the best way he performed tonight, I wanted that defensive recreation to lastly have the prospect to be offensive.
“When he was hitting, it’s true that perhaps it was troublesome to beat him even when I used to be at my 100 % (degree). However in all probability it might have been slightly bit extra of a combat.”
Crushed in simply over two hours, Nadal gained barely a 3rd of the match’s factors, was damaged 5 occasions and conjured solely a single break level within the third set, which the Serb saved.
He racked up 28 unforced errors whereas Djokovic leaked solely 9, in an astonishing show of management.
Regardless of the beating, the defiant Spaniard mentioned his five-set semi-final loss to Djokovic at Wimbledon final 12 months was extra disappointing than Sunday’s defeat.
He has now misplaced eight successive matches to Djokovic on hardcourts, his final win coming on the 2013 U.S. Open.
However he was adamant he may rebound and discover the talent to problem once more.
“What I would like is time, I would like work and I would like extra weeks like this one,” mentioned Nadal.
“That’s actually the one factor that I hope, is to have the prospect to maintain working towards properly and to have the prospect to maintain enjoying with wholesome situations.
“I can’t be unhappy. It could not be truthful to be unhappy. I performed in opposition to a participant that immediately was higher than me.”
Whereas buoyed to have performed seven matches at Melbourne Park following a litany of accidents, he conceded that he would nonetheless must handle his schedule fastidiously.
“I would like matches, however I can’t go loopy to play matches. I’ve my age,” mentioned the 32-year-old.
“If I’m wholesome, I’m aggressive, I’m joyful, I’ve the prospect to win tournaments. If not, issues change 100 %.”
Modifying by Christian Radnedge