Rafael Nadal gives injury update after US Open exit but refuses to seek excuses
Rafael Nadal says he was not injured in his US Open fourth round defeat to Frances Tiafoe as he refused to make excuses for the loss.
Tiafoe snapped a 22-match winning streak at Grand Slams for Nadal in a shock result that ended his hopes of winning a record-extending 23rd major.
Nadal left the court for a lengthy period of time after losing the first set, leading to speculation that it was a medical time-out and an injury played a part in the defeat.
Afterwards, though, Nadal confirmed it was just for a change of kit and to apply a bandage to help with perspiration, and he said it would be wrong to try to ‘find excuses’.
“We can make lamentations or we can complain now about a lot of things, but I don’t think that going to change any situation, no?
“We can think, ‘if I don’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 those injuries, no?
“I mean, 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 other cases went the right way, even with not the perfect preparation, no?
“We can’t find excuses. We need to be enough critic with myself. That’s the only way to improve or that’s the only way that I understand you are able to find solutions.”
Instead, Rafael Nadal was keen to praise Rafael Tiafoe for a fine US Open performance. While he was keen to analyse his own performance, he openly admitted that the American was simply the better player on the day.
“I played a bad match, and he played a good match,” Rafael Nadal explained. “At the end that’s it, no?
“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.
“Yeah, tennis is a sport of position a lot of times, no? If not, you need to be very, very quick and very young. I am not in that moment anymore.
“My shots need to be better. In some way my understanding of the game and the quality of my shots were not enough good. They were poor, I think I have to say today, because I was not able to create that much on him.
“Yeah, well done for him. He was better than me. All the credit to him, without a doubt.
“But at the end when you finish a match, of course it’s important to recognize all the good things that the opponent is doing or the opponent did. Yes, without a doubt.
“But at the end of the day I need to analyse myself more than the opponent, no? I finish the match
“Of course, Tiafoe is playing more solid than before, serving well I think today, taking the ball very early, as I said before. Good backhands. He’s quick, as everybody knows.
“But I don’t think I pushed him enough to create him the doubts that I need to create. Tennis is always a balance. When somebody’s not playing that well, it’s easier that the opponent plays better. So if my ball is not a high-quality ball, then he’s able to do his game much easier. That the thing.
“Of course, he did the things well. If not, he will not win, without a doubt. Congrats to him. As I said before, no excuses at all. I’m completely happy to recognize that he was much better than me today.”
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