Rafael Nadal of Spain still can’t explain how and why he lost his first round match at the 2016 Australian Open with the former World No. 1 saying that he worked hard before the first Grand Slam tournament of the year but wondered how he did not get the results he was looking for.
“The match is a tough [loss] for me, obviously. Obviously is tough, especially because is not like last year that I arrived here playing bad and feeling myself not ready for it. This year was a completely different story. I have been playing and practicing great and working so much,” Nadal said to The Irish News.
“Is tough when you work so much and arrive at a very important event and you’re going out too early. But at the same time, I know I did everything that I can to be ready for it. Was not my day. Let’s keep going. That’s the only thing.”
Nadal was expecting a good performance in Melbourne after he ended the previous ATP season on a high note climbing back to World No. 5 in the latter part of the year after struggling for the majority of the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
However, Nadal, who was seeded fifth in Melbourne, lost his first round match against compatriot Fernando Verdasco in five sets despite having the 2-1 set lead after three sets (6-7 (6) 6-4 6-3). Nadal collapsed in the last two sets, 6-7 (4) 2-6.
Nadal admitted many times in past interviews that the reason why he struggled the past two seasons were because of his mental struggles and confidence inside the court. The loss at the 2016 Australian Open should add more questions for the Spanish pro for the rest of the 2016 ATP Season.
Meanwhile, Nadal’s rivals, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and World No. 3 Roger Federer are still alive in the 2016 Australian Open and most likely will go deep into the tournament unlike the Spaniard, who suffered one of his most embarrassing defeats in his career.
Photo courtesy: The Guardian