June 19, 2021

Rafael Nadal: I do not want to say that Djokovic played great, but it was

Spaniard Rafael Nadal commented on his defeat by Serb Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final.

Do you think Novak played better than your previous meetings?

– It is hard to say. Of course he played great. And I could not add, although it was necessary. I did not have the strength. For two weeks, I demonstrated an incredible game. Perhaps I did not have enough torment on the court before such a test in the final. It was necessary to something else, but this is exactly what I lacked. All two weeks I had to attack a lot, but I only worked out the defense during training, and it was not enough for me in the final, because he simply did not give me a chance to start the attack. Today it would be difficult for me to beat him, even if I acted on 100%, but at least I would have a chance.

What exactly did you miss?

– For a long time I did not have the opportunity to train and play normally, but I returned and spent two fantastic weeks. Now I need time and matches. Novak had his best match in Melbourne, it was difficult to oppose him to something. When I’m 100% ready, I find ways to fight it. I make him do the same thing many times, and it gets harder for him. But today I did not succeed. For me now it is important to continue to work and avoid injury. It would be nice to spend more weeks like this. As for the rest, I’m not worried. Today Djokovic was better than me. I have nothing to complain, it remains only to congratulate him. In fact, these two weeks were very important to me. It only seems that reaching the final was easy for me. I faced many difficulties. But I believe that in a couple of months I will be completely ready.

Will you add more tournaments to your calendar to play a bigger match?

– I need matches, but you can’t go crazy. I am already 32 years old, I need to be able to set priorities. Now I will go home and rest. Then I will continue to work on the physical form, the game of defense and the transition to a counterattack. Next time I will play in Acapulco, then in Indian Wells. The season is long. Now it’s more important for me not the titles, but my own happiness and health.

Today you worried more than usual? You made atypical mistakes for you.

– Everything was as it usually happens in the finals of the Grand Slam tournaments. Novak just had incredible pressure. Everything happened very quickly. He pressed on every ball. I had to constantly defend myself. I do not want to say that he played great, but it was.

Is such an unconditional defeat perceived more or less painful than, for example, a five-set?

– In the semifinals of Wimbledon was a shame, then I was much closer to victory. Then I played great and won a lot of matches after the success at Roland Garros. I had a very real chance to win Wimbledon, but I did not take advantage of them. Then I even played easier. However, after these two weeks, I feel satisfaction, because they were given to me more difficult than Wimbledon.

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