Rafael Nadal has responded to accusations he has a big weakness on indoor courts by saying he can beat anyone on any surface.
Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem at the ATP Finals on Monday but that only tells part of the story, with both players producing scintillating tennis throughout and Thiem simply winning the bigger moments.
The Spaniard has never won the ATP Finals, and only has one indoor hardcourt tile in his entire career, but he does not believe it is a weakness.
“I don’t want to pretend to be arrogant at all, because I am not,” Nadal said.
“But I really don’t need to show even to myself or to no one that if I am playing my best tennis, I think I can win in every surface and against any player.
“But I never won in the [ATP] Finals. That’s the real thing at the same time. So no problem about that. I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances.”
On the match itself, Nadal was happy to credit Thiem for a brilliant performance, and he says he has been encouraged by what he produced himself too.
“Just well done to Dominic. I’m happy with the way I played,” Nadal said.
“I think my chances are bigger to have a very good result now than [they were] five days ago because the level of tennis — even if I lost today — for me is much higher.
“[It was] a great match of tennis decided [by] a few small details. Just well done to him. He played I think an amazing match, and I played well, too.
“My feeling is not negative. I lost, but I had plenty of chances in the first and then I had a break up in the second.”
“I think I did all the things well during the match. Just the only negative thing [is that] I was not able to convert some key points that made the biggest difference in the whole match.
“Of course [I am] sad for the loss, but at the same time [I am] happy for Dominic that he played a great match. I hope to have my chances.
“I think I am much more confident now with the level of tennis that I am playing than a couple of days ago. So I just have the chance to keep going, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Nadal must beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in his final round robin match to qualify for the semi-finals.
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?