You have to be very fast and young and I’m not anymore – TennisKafe

You have to be very fast and young and I’m not anymore – TennisKafe
You have to be very fast and young and I’m not anymore – TennisKafe

“Tennis is often a positioning sport. You have to be very, very fast and very young. At this moment, I am no longer like that” – this is how Rafael Nadal commented on part of the reasons for his defeat by Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round of the US Open. With his first words, Matadora summed up the match as clearly as possible. “It’s simple: I played bad and he played well. That’s it, right? I was unable to maintain a high level for a long period of time. I wasn’t fast enough in my movements. He was able to get the ball too early too often, so I wasn’t able to push him back.”

“My shots have to be better. In some ways, my understanding of the game and the quality of my shots were not good enough. Good for him. He was better than me.”

Nadal was asked if injuries and poor preparation were part of the reason for the defeat. “We can complain, but I don’t think it will change anything. You might think that if I hadn’t been injured I might have won Wimbledon. Maybe I would have won other things in the past. Or maybe I lost other things because I wasn’t able to build that inner strength after all those injuries. It’s part of my career. Many times it happened the right way, sometimes completely unexpectedly like in Australia, like Roland Garros. Of course, the preparation was not ideal. But in other cases it has worked despite the lack of perfect preparation.”

“We cannot make excuses. We must be critical of ourselves. This is the only way to improve, to find solutions. I trained well in the previous week, but when the tournament started, my level dropped. This is the truth. I don’t know, mental reasons regarding a lot of things that happened in the last months. Perhaps…”

“Does not matter. In the end, what happened is that we reached the fourth round of the US Open and I met an opponent who was better than me. That’s why I’m going home on the plane.”

“Tiafoe is playing more solidly than before, serving well and taking the ball early. Good backhands. He is fast as everyone knows. I don’t think I pushed him hard enough,” he added. Nadal added that in the coming months his personal life will be a priority. We remind you that he is expecting his first child, and recently the Spanish media reported on complications due to which his wife spent some time in hospital.



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