Rafael Nadal after losing to Novak Djokovic: "I'm sad, but it's not a disaster"

Rafael Nadal waves goodbye after his loss
Rafael Nadal waves goodbye after his loss

Defending Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal was bundled out of the claycourt Major by Novak Djokovic in the semifinals on Friday.

The 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 defeat marks just the third time Nadal has lost at the French Open.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic played some astounding tennis for most of their four-hour encounter, but it was the Serb's supreme physicality and consistency that saw him through in the end.

Rafael Nadal, whose bid for a record-extending 14th Roland Garros title came to an end, admitted he was dejected by the loss. But the Spaniard declared he would try not to dwell on the result.

"I'm sad, I lost at the most important tournament of the year for me," Rafael Nadal said in his post-match press conference. "But it's just a defeat on a tennis court you know, and tomorrow I'll be at home with my family. That's OK."

Rafael Nadal insists he cannot dominate at Roland Garros forever and that he does not consider his loss to Novak Djokovic a "disaster".

"My opportunities to win here are not eternal," Nadal said. "In our sport, you must admit both victory and defeat. I do know that I can't win the tournament 15, 18, 20 times. It's not a disaster at all."

The Mallorcan believes he fought very hard but lost to a superior player.

"Credit to him. What can I say? I won a lot here but I couldn't today, that's reality," Nadal said. "Probably it was not my best day today, even if I fought. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I had a big chance. There were crazy points. The fatigue is there. Well done for him. A good fight for him. Tried my best. The better player deserved to win. He deserved it."
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

The Spaniard, who seemingly suffered a left ankle issue late in the match, said he left it all out on the court. Nadal added that the conditions were slower than he was accustomed to but insisted that Novak Djokovic had adapted better than him on the day.

"I left it all out there, physically and mentally," said the Mallorcan. "I can play better, that's reality. It was the evening, conditions were slower. It’s not an excuse, he adapted better, my shots don’t have the same oomph when it’s like that."

I know that opportunities are fewer with every passing year: Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal congratulates Novak Djokovic after the Serb's win
Rafael Nadal congratulates Novak Djokovic after the Serb's win

Rafael Nadal will turn 36 during next year's Roland Garros. The Spaniard said he was aware his chances of winning in Paris are diminishing with time. But the World No. 3 is confident of returning with the same kind of intensity and attitude next year.

"The years are going by and I know that there is lesser chance with every year," Rafael Nadal said. "It is a very important tournament for me, but I am aware that you can’t win every time. I will come back next year with the same attitude and work before. I played against one of the best ever."

Asked to provide an update on his schedule for the upcoming grasscourt season. Rafael Nadal said he would take some time off before thinking about his calendar.

"It's not a moment to be pleased," added Nadal. "But it's not a moment to create drama. I have to rest a little, physically, mentally as well, and then I'll tell what my schedule."

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now