Rafael Nadal: 'I don't feel good now, but I will be happy at the end of the year'

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Rafael Nadal: 'I don't feel good now, but I will be happy at the end of the year'

Rafael Nadal turned 19 in June 2005, and he was already among the world's leading players and a Major contender. The young Spaniard claimed nine ATP titles ahead of the US Open, including his first Major crown in Paris and three Masters 1000 titles that helped him become world no.

2. Rafa claimed the title in Montreal before an early exit a week later in Cincinnati in a tight clash against Tomas Berdych, hoping for a better run at the US Open, where he didn't play well in the previous years. Leaving his great results behind him for those two weeks, Nadal was eager to play at his best in New York and achieve the first notable result at the season's last Major.

Rafa took down Bobby Reynolds 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 49 minutes in the opening round, serving well and earning four breaks to control the pace, although he wasn't pleased with his game overall. In the second match, the Spaniard faced another American, world no.

352 Scoville Jenkins, and beat him 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in just under two and a half hours. Playing well on both the first and second serve, Rafa got broken once and secured four breaks that carried him over the finish line and into the third round.

Aware that he has to increase his level if he wanted to chase a deep run, Nadal tried to raise his game against the first dangerous opponent, James Blake.

Rafael Nadal lost in the third round at the US Open 2005.

The American proved to be a serious contender, beating Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to move into the last 16.

Despite a solid effort in the second set and the beginning of the third, Rafa couldn't match the rival's pace after converting only two out of ten break chances. The home player stole the rival's serve six times and started all over in set number three to leave world no.

2 behind and show him the exit door. "I'm happy about my season, but I can't speak about it now because I'm a bit disappointed. I just lost in the third round of a Major, and it's not easy to think about the previous tournaments. I don't feel good now, but I will be happy at the end of the year," Rafael Nadal said.