Novak Djokovic recalls Rafael Nadal loss: 'One eye was not enough to beat him'

Tennis - Djokovic struggled with his contact lenses against Nadal at the 2010 ATP Finals

by Jovica Ilic
Novak Djokovic recalls Rafael Nadal loss: 'One eye was not enough to beat him'

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal made a winning start at the 2010 ATP Finals in London before facing each other in the second round-robin encounter. 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. However, he lost ground due to the right eye irritation that took his focus away and made him struggle for the rest of the match. Djokovic's eye started to trouble him in the eighth game, taking a medical timeout to fix the issue and continue the encounter.

Still, he could not improve his sight despite changing contact lenses several times. The Serb went for all-or-nothing shots by the end of the match and failed to beat such a strong rival. 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 toward 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 had 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 grueling 75 minutes.

Nadal erased three break chances and claimed it after grueling 75 minutes. Novak tried to fix the issue ahead of the second set. However, it only worsened, and 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. Incredibly, this happened for the first time in my life. I'm annoyed that something like this affected the match and result.

My right eye was irritated, and I could barely play from 5-5 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 to see if something more serious is 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 lens issue, 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, that's a question for the officials, not me. You have to ask them if that was a case where they had to find an exception. They did not realize the situation, and it was 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.

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal Atp Finals