Novak Djokovic recalls: 'What just happened to me against Rafael Nadal is incredible'



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Novak Djokovic recalls: 'What just happened to me against Rafael Nadal is incredible'

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal made a winning start at the 2010 ATP Finals in London before facing each other in the second round of the round-robin action. After an hour and 52 minutes, Nadal beat Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 to maintain a perfect score and move closer to a place in the semi-final.

Novak stayed in touch until 5-5 in the opening set before losing ground due to the right eye irritation that took his focus away and made him struggle in the rest of the match. Djokovic's eye started to cause him troubles in the eighth game, and he took a medical timeout to fix the issue and continue the encounter.

Still, he could not improve his sight despite changing contact lenses a couple of times, playing all-or-nothing shots by the end of the match and failing to beat such a strong rival. After the encounter, Novak said he had never experienced anything like that in his career, feeling angry that it happened against Nadal at such an important tournament.

Also, the Serb mentioned the officials, who did not want to give him more time to fix his problem and continue the match in a competitive spirit. Nadal saved four out of five break points and delivered four breaks that carried him towards the 16th victory over Djokovic in 23 clashes.

They traded breaks at 2-2 in the opener and stayed neck and neck in the next four games despite Novak's apparent problems.

Novak Djokovic struggled with an eye issue against Rafael Nadal in London 2010.

Nadal broke him at 5-5 and saved three break points in the 12th to bring the opener home after 75 minutes.

Nadal erased three break chances and claimed it after grueling 75 minutes. Novak tried to fix the problems with his eye ahead of the second set, but it only worsened, as he lost serve in games one and three to fall further behind.

Nadal moved 4-0 ahead with a service winner and held at 30 in game six with a smash winner to move closer to the finish line. Djokovic held at 15 in the seventh game before Nadal sealed the deal with a service winner in the next one.

"I feel talking about it, to be honest. It's just incredible that this happened for the first time in my life. I'm annoyed by the fact that something like this affected the match and result. My right eye irritated, and I could barely play from 5 to 5 in the opening set; it was terrible.

I do not want to find excuses for my loss, but I could not play. I will visit a doctor and see if there is something more serious going on. The doctor told me that he did not see anything in my eye. Later on, I had two lenses, then three.

It kept on going round and round. I felt great on the court today, as I had time to prepare for the event mentally and physically. You give your everything to win, and then something like this happens. I needed some time to fix the issue with lenses, but I did not have it, as everybody kept hurrying me up.

Three minutes, 30 seconds, come to the court, play your match, whatever. If I was supposed to get more time or not, that's a question for the officials, not me. You have to ask them if that was a case where they have to find an exception.

But obviously, they did not realize the situation, so it's okay. Playing with one eye would never be enough, especially against Rafael Nadal. I went for all-or-nothing shots and hit the ball as hard as possible," Novak Djokovic said.