Rafael Nadal talks to the press following his quarter-final defeat to Dominic Thiem in Madrid:
This is not a drama. I won 50 consecutive sets on this surface. Now I lost. I’m not gonna do a lot of things different because of this.
Of course, I’m upset. I tried to come back. I tried to do it a couple of times, but I wasn’t good enough today. He was better than me today, that’s the end of the story. Some days you don’t play as well as you’d like to play. Also, when that happens, it’s because your opponent is doing really well. I just want to congratulate him, that’s all.
I think that today I didn’t read the ball well enough to be able to handle the situation, to put him into places where he didn’t feel comfortable. I was not good enough with my forehand or my backhand to open up to his forehand.
Three weeks ago I beat him 6-0, 6-2. I don’t know if that’s a tough player or not. I don’t think it’s that way. I think it’s just been a match that he was better than me, same as a few weeks ago I was better than him.
This week, of course, he has been the toughest opponent. There is no discussion about that. This is the reality. If he beats me three times in a row, maybe we can say he reads my game and can beat me. Today he was better than me, and that’s all.
Rafa on losing No. 1 ranking to Roger Federer:
I think from January till Monte-Carlo I played zero tournaments. These are three months or more given away. This is a lot of months given away to the other players.
Having said this, I think I placed myself in a good position more or less. I am No. 3 in the race of the year, which is the most important thing. I still have two good weeks on clay, and then I’ll keep on moving forward. This is the reality.
Talking about No. 1, of course I prefer to be No. 1 than 2, and No. 3 than 5. I have said this a million times. I lost the No. 1 before, but what makes me happy is I feel fit, can compete with possibilities every single week. This is my final goal: to be happy. That’s what I’m working on.
Sources: ATP World Tour, Metro