Rafael Nadal on Alexander Zverev loss: Very difficult to understand

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Rafael Nadal on Alexander Zverev loss: Very difficult to understand

Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal suffered a shock Madrid Masters quarterfinal loss but still he is leaving the tournament with a positive feeling. Nadal, seeded at No. 1, was beaten in straight sets by Alexander Zverev as the German won 6-4 6-4.

"I’m leaving Madrid with an overall positive feeling, but at the same time with the ugly feeling of having played a match like this today against a great player,” Nadal admitted in his post-match press conference, per the ATP website.

“I think for most of the first set, I was playing better than him. And this is the negative part; while playing better than him in the first set, I still lost 6-4. “This is very difficult to understand, especially for me.

When this happens to me, it’s usually in the opposite way – I find a way to win sets even though I’m not playing my best or as good as the opponent”.

Nadal blew a lead in the first set

Nadal was up 4-2 in the first set before suffering back-to-back breaks and losing the opener.

"I felt like I was playing better for much of the first set, but after a couple of errors – unjustifiable errors at the worst times – I found myself down a set,” Nadal said. “The outlook of the match changed there, both for me and for him.

I knew then that a lot of suffering was waiting for me [in the second set], and for him, the knowledge that he just took a huge step forward during the match”. Zverev delivered a good performance and Nadal had no answers for his game.

"It’s not that I wasn’t able to find my ‘minimum level’, it’s that you’re playing against someone whose serve gets you into big trouble,” Nadal said. “Every serve goes above 220, so in conditions like these I have to return like six metres behind the baseline and even then I’m still hitting the returns at shoulder height”.