Despite the hard and in some ways unexpected defeat against Tsitsipas, Rafael Nadal is, as usual, affable and lucid at the press conference. The Spanish tennis player doesn't usually look for excuses for his defeats and today's one is no exception.
“I missed a couple of shots in the tiebreak which I shouldn't have missed if I wanted to win. That's all. I think Stefanos played a great fourth and fifth set. I was there, I played a couple of bad games, congratulations to him“.
However, Rafa does not hide his disappointment for an event he cares a lot about. "The Australian Open is one of my favorite events, without a doubt. He probably played better than me in the important moments, she was balanced.
I did my best at all times with the best attitude. […] I tried to stay positive throughout the game, but it wasn't enough. [...] That's all, another story in my tennis career. No, another game that I lose in Australia with an important advantage, I have to accept it and move on.
That's life" As seen before, there is no shortage of compliments from Nadal to his youngest opponent "one of the best players in the world", whom he tries not to take away from. “Already from the third set he started playing much better.
At that point in the fourth and fifth he played at a really high level“. Rafa still takes it philosophically. “I made a couple of mistakes, it wasn't enough and I'll have to go home and train even better. […] Today was not enough, even if I came close.
But it's tennis, that's it, it's sport. One wins and the other loses. I lost today. The only thing I can do is try to do better next time, and congratulate him today." Toni Nadal, Rafa’s uncle, and former long-time coach, recently published a column where he tried to break down the quarterfinal match.
The 59-year-old praised Tsitsipas for his resilience, which was on display from the third set.
Uncle Toni on Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal lost a grip of the match as soon as he conceded the tie-break. That moment was enough for Tsitsipas, who capitalized on the moment brilliantly.
Tsitsipas took the opportunity and raced to complete the three-set comeback. “I kept hoping to see him get back into shape as the days went by,” Toni Nadal said of Rafa. “There is no other than to do the usual. Look ahead and start thinking about Paris now to chase down an exhilarating 21st Grand Slam trophy”.