The Australian Open is the tournament of Grand Slam who least smiles at Rafa NadalIt barely has a title and this Wednesday he was eliminated in the quarterfinals against Stéfanos Tsitsipás by 3-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 and 7-5. As if the defeat had not been painful enough, in the post-match press conference the Spaniard suffered a cramp that forced him to withdraw early from the room.
The tennis player was analyzing his performance in the fifth set when he felt a tug on his leg, he could not avoid the expression of pain on his face and left to the surprise of those present. Some time later he returned, already recovered, to continue with the wheel: “They have asked me if I was well prepared and it has been shown that I was not. Physically I have lacked a little more preparation, unfortunately. I have suffered a pull and after so many memes that there were with the New York, I decided to go out whistling, it has hurt a lot more, but I suppose that I have avoided something”.
Nadal made reference to what happened in 2011, during a dialogue with journalists at the US Open in which he suffered a similar cramp and stayed for several minutes in his chair stretching with gestures of pain before the gaze of those present. That scene went viral and generated a wave of memes that to this day continue to circulate on the networks.
Regarding his performance in Melbourne, he noted: “Everyone has what they deserve. I have had what I deserve in my career and here in Australia I have had my options, but I have not been able to take advantage of them. That’s all. He did not deserve more ”.
In addition to the final won in 2009, the European was runner-up in the Australian Open on four occasions (2012, 2014, 2017, 2019). Last year he fell in the quarterfinals against the Austrian Dominic Thiem and this time he missed a two-set lead to end up losing to the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas
“I play against the best tennis players in the world, so you have to hope that they have a very high level and be prepared for everything,” he said. In addition, he refused to blame his loss on his recent physical problems with his back, which haunted him since his arrival in Australia in January: “He played well. I have to go back to training to be better ”,.
“Before arriving (in Australia) I was in very good shape, but I had no luck with what happened to me for twenty days (back pain that prevented him from training and playing in competition before the Australian Open). I have been struggling to be able to play and regain my level. But today was not enough. I was not far away, but that’s how tennis is ”, he confirmed.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced tennis players to undergo more or less strict quarantines upon arrival in Australia. On Tuesday, Novak Djokovic estimated that the number of injured players at this start of the season had to do in many cases with these restrictions and confinements.
Nadal He proposed to protect the ranking of the players so that they do not feel obliged to play all the tournaments: “Except for error, there are no tournaments in which we are forced to go through a quarantine in the coming months. We probably have to find a way to protect players’ rankings, so as not to force them to play non-stop. I think that 100%, this situation is very complicated for some players, depending on their countries of origin ”, he explained.
This was the third time in his career that Rafa loses a match after being two sets to zero above. Previously, Roger Federer in Miami 2005 and Fabio Fognini in the US Open 2015. For his part, Tsitsipás will face Russian Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals.
Stéfanos Tsitsipás struck and eliminated Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open
Historic Australian Open performance: debuted in a Grand Slam at age 27 and reached the semi-finals
With information from AFP