‘I need to go home’: Rafael Nadal needs rest after US Open loss to Tiafoe

What made the difference today?

“It’s simple: I played a bad game and he had a good game. I didn’t play well. I wasn’t able to maintain a high level of tennis. I wasn’t enough quick in my movements. He was able to take the ball too many times early on so I couldn’t push him back. Tennis is all about being in a good position. If you’re not, you have to be very, very fast and very young (smile). What I’m not anymore. My shots need to be better. Overall my reading of the game and the quality of my shots wasn’t good enough, was poor. If I want to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open, I have to do things better. I have to admit that, because I wasn’t able to oppose a lot of things to him. He was better than me.”

Did your abdominal injury from Wimbledon bother you?

“You can always complain, but I don’t think that changes anything in the situation. You shouldn’t look for excuses, but be sufficiently critical with yourself. It’s the only way to It’s the only way I know to find solutions. I did what I could, but things didn’t work out the way I wanted. I trained well though, the week before the tournament. But when the competition started, my level went down. That’s the truth. For some reason. I don’t know… mental problems, since a lot of things happened in the last two months. Maybe… But it doesn’t matter. In the end, the only thing that happened was that I lost in the round of 16 of the US Open, against a player who was better than me.”

How do you see your end of the season?

“I need to go home, these last few months have been difficult. I have more important things than tennis to settle (his wife is pregnant, editor’s note). And then decisions will be made according to how things are happening in my personal life, which comes before my professional life. I’m going to do a mini preparation to try to finish the year in Europe with a good feeling. There are still tournaments to come if everything goes well. I don’t know when I’ll be back, but when I feel like I’m mentally ready to start competing again, I’ll be there.”

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