Veteran Rafael Nadal admitted that he can’t excuses after he was knocked out of the US Open 2022 by America’s Frances Tiafoe in the four-set contest on Monday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. Nadal feels he didn’t have the ideal preparation for the New York Major but didn’t want to blame it for his loss.
The Spaniard was knocked out of the first round of the Cincinnati Masters by eventual champion Borna Coric. Nadal didn’t look at his best in the first two rounds at the Flushing Meadows but dominated the contest against Richard Gasquet in the third round as he won in straight sets.
“We can make lamentations or we can complain now about a lot of things, but I don’t think that [is] going to change any situation,” Nadal said. “We can think, if I [didn’t] get injured, maybe I win Wimbledon. Maybe I win [other] things [in] the past. Or maybe I lost [other] things because I was not able to create this interior power after all that injuries.
“That’s part of my career. A lot of times went the proper way; sometimes completely unexpected like Australia, like Roland Garros. Of course, this was not the ideal preparation for me. But in other cases went the right way, even with not the perfect preparation. We can’t find excuses. We need to be enough critical with myself. That’s the only way to improve or that’s the only way that I understand you are able to find solutions.”
The 36-year-old admitted that he didn’t play a good match and gave credit to his opponent for outplaying him.
“The difference is easy: I played a bad match and he played a good match. At the end that’s it,” Nadal said. “I was not able to hold a high level of tennis for a long time. I was not enough quick on my movements. He was able to take the ball too many times very early, so I was not able to push him back.
“Tennis is a sport of position a lot of times. If not, you need to be very, very quick and very young. I am not in that moment anymore. My shots needed to be better. In some way my understanding of the game and the quality of my shots were not good enough, were poor, I think I have to say today, because I was not able to create that much [against] him.”
Nadal feels his level went down when the tournament started and thus he wasn’t playing at the top of his game.
“I have been practising well the week before, honestly. But then when the competition started, my level went down. That’s the truth. For some reason, I don’t know, mental issues in terms of a lot of things happened the last couple of months,” Nadal said.
“But [that] doesn’t matter. At the end the only thing that happened is we went to the fourth round of the US Open and I faced a player that was better than me. And that’s why I am having a plane back home.”