Rafael Nadal refused to offer his recent injury problems as an excuse for his surprise US Open exit.
The Spaniard was seeking a record-extending 23rd major in New York and came into the tournament with a perfect record at Grand Slams this year.
His challenge was ended in the fourth round by an inspired Frances Tiafoe, but Nadal refused to blame the abdomen or foot injuries that have plagued his season for his defeat.
Asked if he felt his recent injuries played a part in his defeat, Nadal said: “We can make lamentations or we can complain now about a lot of things, but I don't think that's going to change any situation, no?
“We can think, ‘if I don't get injured, maybe I win Wimbledon’. Maybe I win another things on 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.”
While Rafael Nadal is keen not to offer excuses, it is fair to offer the context that injuries are not all he has had to contend with of late.
His wife is expecting their first child and there have been reports that she has experienced medical complications.
“I have been practicing well the week before, honestly,” he added. “But then, when the competition start, my level went down. That's the true. For some reason, I don't know, mental issues in terms of a lot of things happened the last couple of months. Maybe...
“But 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.”
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