Rafael Nadal says the bagel he gave to Novak Djokovic in the French Open final was ‘misleading’ and not reflective on the gap between the two.
Nadal was in scintillating form at Roland Garros, where he beat Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 earlier this month to win a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title.
However, despite the dramatic scoreline, Nadal does not think the score told the story.
“I will tell you one thing: the way tennis scoring works is very difficult,” Nadal told the Spanish press.
“After that 6-0, many were sure that I would beat Novak easily and nothing is further from the truth.
“That 6-0 was very misleading, because the level of one player and the other was not of a 6-0. You can not continue playing believing that you have defeated him.”
Nadal was on the receiving end of a similar experience to that which Djokovic suffered at the Australian Open in 2019.
The Spaniard was not bageled, but he was comprehensively outclassed on the day by Djokovic, so he knows how it feels.
“When it is the other way around, when the one who loses is me, whatever the result, I think the same and start the next set thinking that the match starts again,” he added.
“The most important thing when you are on the court is not to stop giving yourself opportunities, never lower your arms, because you can improve.
“Inspiration comes to you, the opponent can fail, you can relax… if you mentally lower your arms or lose your confidence, then it is impossible to recover.”
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