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Nadal: I can hit back

2011-07-04 10:35

London - Rafael Nadal insists Novak Djokovic cannot keep winning and he will be first in the queue ready to pounce when the Serb finally cracks.

Djokovic, who will dethrone Nadal as world No 1 on Monday, also took the Spaniard's Wimbledon title on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 win, ending his opponent's 20-match winning streak at the All England Club.

It also took his record since Serbia's maiden Davis Cup triumph last December to 50 wins in 51 matches, his only blemish being his recent French Open semifinal loss to Roger Federer.

But despite losing his fifth final of 2011 to Djokovic, Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion, believes that he can hit back.

"My experience says this level is not forever," said 10-time Grand Slam winner Nadal.

"Probably the level of Novak of today is not forever. I'm going to be here fighting all the time, waiting for my moment to beat him another time."

Nadal said he will not torture himself over his loss on Sunday in what was his 13th Grand Slam final.

After already deciding to skip the Davis Cup quarterfinal against the United States in Texas next weekend, he will work on what he believes are the minor adjustments he needs.

"The game is easy, so to think about a lot of things will be a mistake. Don't think about playing well, how you are not playing well," said Nadal, who still holds a 16-12 winning record over the Serb.

"It's true we can analyze that my game is not bothering him. We have to find how I can bother him another time. I did in the past. He's in the best moment of his career. That's true.

"I am in one of the best moments of my career. Still it wasn't enough to beat him. I have to play longer. I have to play more aggressive. I have to have less mistakes."

Nadal refuses to be too downcast about losing both his Wimbledon title and the No 1 spot, which he and Federer have monopolised since 2004.

He points to winning a sixth French Open, which took him level with Bjorn Borg's record, as proof that there is not a lot wrong with his game.

"Three weeks ago I was winning in Roland Garros; today I was playing the final here and I lost," he said.

"We started with 128 players. One has to win but he's going to lose in the future."

Nadal was also adamant that Sunday's loss was not the worst of his career, claiming his double dose of Australian Open misery was tougher to take.

The Spaniard was in tears in January after his injury-ruined quarterfinal against compatriot David Ferrer.

A year earlier, knee tendinitis forced him to retire from his quarterfinal with Andy Murray.

"The toughest moment was in Australia and I finished the match and I am injured....in 2010 I have to go out of Australia with an injury. That is the toughest moment. That's the game: sometimes you win; sometimes you lose," he said.

AFP

Comments
  • Anup Jalota (Wannabe) - 2011-07-04 12:17

    I love these guys. They play scintilating tennis! Roger, Rafa, Andy and of course the Novac makes me wanna watch this game again.......... Well done!

      ???? - 2011-07-04 13:57

      Andy? ANDy !!!!???? hhahahaha,,,,his useless man !

      roboman1 - 2011-07-04 14:05

      spoken like a true tennis lover

  • zebracobra - 2011-07-04 13:46

    Novak has become so big a mountain to climb,they r falling by its site.The way he is playing it wil take himself to be beaten.take nothing from nadal and federer but as it looks now they wil act as pace setters to help him go higher and higher, go Novak go.

  • Shivaskar - 2011-07-04 14:35

    Doubt that Nadal can hit back. What's he going to do, serve and volley? Play at net? Djokovic has improved mentally against him and that isn't going to just disappear. Novak's game before this year was good enough to beat Nadal, only the belief was needed. Now he dominates Nadal from the baseline. And Nadal was spared against Djokovic in the grandslams since 2007, he was always in Federer's half. Their first equal footing grandslam meeting (US 10, was a fatigued Djokovic) and Djokovic gives him a heavyweight pasting. Nadal says he is playing the best ever, his game cannot improve anymore. He cannot hope for Federer to beat Djokovic in the grandslams because Federer will be in Nadal's half now. He'll have to hope for a significant drop in form and confidence from Novak, both unlikely.

      Bratt - 2011-07-05 12:41

      Nadal is a fighter, and will find a way. That's what makes great champions. And he certainly is one. In any case, as much as Djokovic may have figured out Nadal's game and how to beat him (actually most of the current crop seem to have found a way to give Nadal a tough time), but Nadal always comes back at you and fights for everything. He'll be back. And that means exciting tennis ahead.

  • Kleinboet - 2011-07-08 16:43

    In the past Djokovic was his own worst enemy; now he has matured psychologically and has become an awesome opponent. Nadal is injury prone because of the way he moves around the court. He knows it and it limits his effectiveness. He will find it hard to rise to the challence; but I am equally sure that he will try his utmost best to do so. These two will probably try so hard to better each other, that someone else (like Del Potro) may just slip in and complicate things. Anyway, it is no longer a given that Nadal will win whenever he plays. That can mean only one thing: King Federer's records of longest reigning no. 1 and most titles are safe for the time being. Guess who is going to watch a lot of tennis in future …

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