‘I lost to one of the best’ – Rafael Nadal refuses to search for excuses after Australian Open exit

Rafael Nadal said he simply ‘lost to one of the best players’ after his Australian Open quarterfinal defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal appeared to be cruising at two sets up, and with Tsitsipas looking far from his best he looked almost certain to simply ease into the semi-finals.

However, Tsitsipas came roaring back, first winning the third set tiebreak before completing the comeback in the final two sets of a hugely absorbing match.

“In the 4th and 5th set he played at a very high level and I have made some mistakes in important moments,” Nadal said.

“I have to go to practice and improve. It was close, but it wasn’t enough.

“Sometimes things go well, sometimes no. Unfortunately for me, I have had more injuries here than in the other places. But today I am not feeling unlucky, I lost to one of the best players.

“I may have made some tactical mistakes, but I have to analyse that a bit deeper. Also, he served really well and started to hit ball more on a rise, he played way better compared to the first two sets.

“Life goes on, I am going to keep enjoying tennis and see what’s next. At least I am going home healthier than I was one and a half week ago, which is a very positive thing for me.

One thing Nadal was keen to avoid, though, was using the quarantine in Australia as any kind of excuse.

“Why couldn’t I practice 20 days the proper way? I don’t know. Maybe the quarantine. Maybe.

“But I won’t complain or find excuses. I accept. I’ll never consider myself unlucky, even the injuries. I’m a very lucky person.”

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