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Nadal: “Now it’s time for me to focus on more important matters”

“I haven’t played well, and when that happens, you have to lose,” said the Spaniard, who will focus on his private life after losing to Tiafoe in the round of 16.

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Nadal: “Now it’s time for me to focus on more important matters”

Clearly disappointed after falling in four sets to Frances Tiafoe in the round of 16 of the US Open, Rafa Nadal spoke to the media post game in the main press room of the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in New York.

Nadal was clearly frustrated by his performance following the loss against Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round, admitting “he was better than me”.

Nadal only allowed two total break point opportunities from the first three sets, but he was unable to save either, leading to Tiafoe taking the first and third frames.

The all-time leader in men’s grand slams then was uncharacteristically shaky in the fourth, committing four double faults and more unforced errors (nine) than winners (seven).

While reporters questioned if it was the oppressive humidity, injuries, or even the distraction of the roof closing mid-match, Nadal made it clear his poor performance had a much simpler explanation.

“Well, the difference is easy,” he said. “I played a bad match and he played a good match. At the end that’s it, no?

Rafael Nadal of Spain
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Rafael Nadal of Spain Anadolu AgencyGetty

“I was not able to hold a high level of tennis for a long time. I was not quick enough on my movements. He was able to take the ball too many times very early, so I was not able to push him back.

“Tennis is a sport of position a lot of times – if not, you need to be very, very quick and very young. I am not in that moment anymore.

“My shots need to be better. In some way my understanding of the game and the quality of my shots were not good enough. They were poor, I think I have to say today, because I was not able to create that much on him. Well done for him. He was better than me.”

It’s time to reset. It has been a difficult few months. It’s time to start again professionally speaking. Now it’s time to have my first child and trust that everything will turn out well”.