Rafael Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem at 2020 Nitto ATP Finals on Tuesday in what was one of the most tightly contested matches of the year. Despite staging arguably his best indoor performance in recent times, Nadal ultimately fell short 7-6(7), 7-6(4) to the Austrian.
Rafael Nadal seems to have taken this morale-sapping defeat in his stride, as evidenced by his post-match comments. The Spaniard seemed fairly upbeat while speaking to the press, and expressed great confidence in his ability to recover from this setback and turn the tables in the future.
"I don't want to pretend to be arrogant all the time,” Nadal asserted. “My thing is I think I can win on every surface and against any player. I know I have to play the best tennis I can. My goal is just to keep going. I am confident with my game.”
While breaking down the match, Rafael Nadal pointed out that there wasn’t much to differentiate between Dominic Thiem and himself. But he asserted that the Austrian was more deserving of the victory due to his ability to play the big points better.
"He created damage on me with his general game and I created damage on his as well,” the Spaniard continued. “I really don't feel that he played better than me or I played better than him. I think both of us played at very high level. He deserved to win because he played a little bit better in some key moments and that's it.”
Rafael Nadal did admit that he felt a bit dejected in the immediate aftermath of his defeat. But at the same time, he also assured everyone that he was already looking ahead to his final group game against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“But as I said before know my feeling is not negative, of course sad,” Nadal explained. “He played a great match and I hope to have my chances. I think I'm much more confident now than a couple of days ago. So I just have the chance to keep going and thinking about Tsitsipas now."
I think the human side gives some more value and grace to the sport: Rafael Nadal roots for line judges
As the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals is taking place without line judges, the players and fans have been getting a good look at the new Hawk-eye Live technology. Rafael Nadal, however, is not a big fan of this initiative.
There had been a couple of instances during the match where Nadal seemed unconvinced by the automated call. And after the match he threw his weight behind retaining line judges for future tournaments - something that Novak Djokovic is not an advocate of.
The Spaniard cited the 'human side' of making manual line calls, which he believes adds a layer of 'value' to the sport.
“Personally, I prefer the line umpires to what we have here, we have to be able to adapt to the circumstances this world presents us with but if you ask me towards the future I prefer line judges," Nadal said. "It’s true the sport has not changed many things in the last 50 years, compared with the majority of sports but I don’t think this is a way to improve the spectacle of our sport. The technology is there, it could be just the two of us in the court if we want, but I think the human side gives some more value and grace to the sport.”Published 18 Nov 2020, 13:33 IST