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Nadal: I'll be back

2011-06-11 08:33

London - Rafael Nadal insists he will be back to peak form and fitness in time for the defence of his Wimbledon title after the exhausted world No 1 crashed out of Queen's against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Nadal looked a spent force in the final set of his 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-1 quarter-final defeat on Friday as the Spaniard's remarkable run of success over the last five months finally took its toll.

The 25-year-old arrived in west London for the Wimbledon warm-up event on the back of a record-equalling sixth French Open triumph and an incredible seven successive finals on the ATP Tour.

Since losing to David Ferrer in the Australian Open quarter-finals, Nadal had been remarkably consistent, but inevitably his mind and body have started to feel the strain of playing so many matches at such high levels of intensity.

He had nothing left to give as the fifth seeded Tsonga gave an inspired display, yet he is confident a few days rest back at home in Manacor is just what he needs to recharge his batteries before returning to England next week to begin practice at Wimbledon.

"I am very confident. I don't know if I will play well, but I'm going to Wimbledon with high motivation and hopefully in perfect shape physically," he said.

"The negative thing is I lost here, but the positive thing is I have few days off and can stop a little bit mentally.

"After losing the second set I lost my concentration. I played a lot of matches in a row. I wasn't there like usual. I think I need a little bit of a break.

"It's important for me to be there with family and friends. I need a few days to be with them and hopefully come back to Wimbledon next Wednesday or Thursday.

"I will play some golf, go fishing maybe. That's relaxing, too. I can have a little bit of a distraction mentally and think of other things, not tennis."

Nadal is adamant that he has every reason to be proud of his achievements this year, even if he lost four of those seven finals to Novak Djokovic.

But his belief that he should win every event he enters has placed a huge weight on his shoulders and lifting that burden for a short while until Wimbledon will be a relief.

"I can be a little bit more relaxed because every day I play with pressure," he said.

"To wake up every day with that pressure that you have to play is not easy, and that's what happened for me in the last five months, every day.

"I had a tough Roland Garros. I had a tough clay court season and the American season included two finals too. So I played all the matches possible these last four or five months.

"My results in the last five months have been fantastic and I'm very happy for everything."

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Comments
  • Lorna - 2011-06-11 13:36

    Nadal is a fantastic tennis player but he is not yet ready to compare him with tennis icons like Mcenroe, Edberg, Borg, Sampras, Boris Becker just to name a few he should be careful or else he will burnout far to soon for his age.

      wood - 2011-06-11 15:02

      Sorry Lorna but to even think of putting Edberg amongst this group let alone Nadal is just naiive.Edberg had probably the worst looking and worst executed forehand is open tennis history.It was a straight arm choking monstrosity and it was only his athleticism that allowed him to run around it and score off an admittedly sublime backhand.

  • Lorna - 2011-06-11 13:44

    Nadal cannot yet be in the tennis greats category like Mcenroe, Borg, Edberg, Becker, Agassi, Sampras, but to name a few. He must be careful he does not burnout at such a young age. We watch his performance at Wimbledon after that he should rest his suspect knees.

      Andrea - 2011-06-11 13:54

      I don't know how you can say this - Rafa has won more slams than most of these and he's won a Golden Slam. Only Rafa and Agassi have done this. How much more does he have to win to be counted as a great?

      GR Ceilings - 2011-06-13 14:49

      Andrea, Federer has also won all four slams. Nadal is great and probably already greater than Edberg, Becker, Agassi, Connors, but most of his wins came at Roland Garros. "Only" 1 Aus Open and 1 US might count against his fans' claims that he is the GOAT. He is far far away from overtaking Federer in going down as the best ever- 6 Wimbledons, 5 US, 4 Aus, 1 French plus he has been in 8 finals that he lost. Thats 24 finals in total, which is another record. But Nadal can still go down as the nr2 best, maybe surpassing Borg and Mckenroe in my opinion.

      GR Ceilings - 2011-06-13 14:52

      I forgot about Sampras, which is probably with Borg the 2 best players ever behind Federer. That's most likely where Nadal will end up. More or less tied for second behind Federer.

  • James - 2011-06-11 14:07

    Ja sorry Lorna you have no leg to stand on Rafa has a maasive win - loss record over every competitor in tennis (including Fed)... The truth that no one seems to face that if he started when Fed did he probably would have had even more slams than Fed as he got most of them when Hewit Safin etc where in the twilights of their career..... Its also undeniable that Nadal has risen to the challenge of others whereas Fed as faded......

      GR Ceilings - 2011-06-13 15:01

      James, Federer won his first Wimledon in 2003 while the likes of Hewitt, Safin and Roddick were at their best. Roddick at his best were pretty good and he probably would have won Nadal on hardcourts most of the time. Agassi was still there(he won the Aus Open in 2003 and made the final of US in 2005 or 6. NAdal came on the scene in 2005 with his first French Open. Djokovic was also there since 2005. Remember that in every Grand Slam there is one or 2 players that are usually just very good that plays the matches of their lives. To make Federer's wins of as easy because Nadal wasn't there for a year or so is silly.

  • Musa - 2011-06-11 18:20

    I am glad that Nadal lost, If I were his coach/manager I would have advised him to rest before the Wimbledon tournament. Go and rest now Nadal you deserve a break for goodness sake.

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