Australian Open

Nadal offers no excuses

2015-01-27 10:01
Rafael Nadal (AFP)

Melbourne - Rafael Nadal did not look for excuses after a limp Australian Open exit to Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, one of the worst Grand Slam performances in his long career.

The Spanish world No 3 crashed out 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 (7/5) against the Czech seventh seed he had beaten the last 17 times they met.

He narrowly avoided tumbling to his worst Grand Slam result on the number of games won. He won only six games against Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-final at the 2009 US Open.

Nadal also had the embarrassment of a 'bagel' in the second set, his first at a Grand Slam since against Roger Federer in the 2006 Wimbledon final.

These are low points that do not sit comfortably with the proud 14-time Grand Slam champion, one of the fiercest competitors in men's tennis.

Asked about his 'so-so' match, Nadal quickly corrected the reporter: "No, not a so-so game today, it was very bad. You can say that, no problem.

"I am feeling okay, it was just not my day. I didn't play with the right intensity, with the right rhythm, and the opponent played better than me," he added.

"In sport, when you are going to play against an opponent, there will be a time the opponent plays better than me.

"I helped him a lot in the beginning. It's easier to play well when you are up in the score, one break up, two breaks up from the beginning of every set. That's a big deal, big difference."

Nadal, who has in the last six years not added to his only Australian title in 2009, looked out of sorts and his serve was broken five times, along with firing six double faults.

He could only muster 24 winners and made more unforced errors (26) with the third seed not able to convert his four break point opportunities.

"I am not very happy because I didn't compete the way I wanted to compete in the first two sets and that's something that I don't like," he said.

"That's sport. I lost the third set. He's happier than me in the locker room."

Despite losing Nadal, who entered the tournament following a three-month injury layoff, said he would take some positives out of the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.

"I have to take the positive things. Without being at my top level of tennis I was able to get to the quarter-finals," he said, referring to the right wrist injury that kept him out of action.

"It's not a bad result at all for me arriving here with only with five matches in seven months.

"So that's the positive thing that I have to take. That it's just the beginning of the season and I want to keep having chances to compete well against everybody.

"I need to keep working the way that I am doing to be ready for the next tournament. The season is long, beginnings are tough. I need to be ready to accept all the situations that happen and try to be strong."


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