VIDEO: Rafael Nadal offers no excuses after Australian Open exit

Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open run ended in a five-set loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Rafa Nadal:

“I missed a couple of balls in the [third set] tie-break that I could not miss if I wanted to win. The whole issue is I missed an easy smash at the beginning of the third-set tie-break, an easy forehand at 2/1 in the tie-break, and then another smash in that tie-break.

“I think Stefanos played great in the fourth and fifth sets. I tried my best in every single moment, with the right attitude… I think I stayed positive all the time during the match, fighting. And it was not enough. Sometimes it’s enough. Today, it was not enough.”

“We can find excuses or reasons, or maybe this quarantine that we need to be more time in the room than usual. But I’m not the guy that’s going to find excuses on that or going to complain about what happened, no. Just accept. I never considered myself an unlucky person at all. Doesn’t matter the injuries that I had. I think I am a very lucky person.”

“The only thing that I can do is just keep going. I put myself in a position to be two sets up in the quarter-finals, close to the semi-finals. Has a chance been lost? Yes, but life continues. I hope to keep having chances [and] I’m going to keep fighting for it.”


  1. Rafa could have and should have won the 3rd set tie breaker .2 poorly executed overhead smashes to a wide open Court and one poor forehand cost him the victory which he had in hand . I think his nerves got the better of him . It’s a costly loss and missed opportunity . Life goes on .

  2. This is ridicilous. Off course I accept that he is human and he losses sometimes a match. I do not accept this kind of losses he lost too many times in that way. And neither should Carlos Moya accept this kind of loss.

    They should be working on the mental state of Rafa and Rafa should be open minded about his and really think about adding someone to his team who can help him with that

    Look at Nole before he worked with boris becker he was mentally very fragile now he is the mentally the most feared player in the tour. Why he realizes that that aspect was absent in his game look at him now.

    • Look guys again: Something very strange is going on in Rafael’s team. Why Carlos did not give company to his pupil? Carlos is the principal coach and must have been there! Why the other parasites were there? What does his father have to do with the whole thing but to distract and maybe something worst? It is just crazy! Fortunately is uncle Toni was not there: This one is another parasite.

      • I am sorry that you feel the way you do about Rafa’s Team Gonzalo but I am afraid I have to disagree. Rafa is always accompanied by his physical trainer, his agent (both of whom have been part of his team for many years) and at least one member of his family. He needs the physical trainer to be there to help him to keep his body in shape on tour. It is part of the agent’s job to be there to handle the off-court stuff and Rafa is very much a family man who likes one or more members of his family to accompany him, for the love and support that only family can provide when away from home. There is nothing unusual in any of that and, in my opinion, they are not parasites. They each play an important role in Rafa’s Team. As for the coach, Francisco Roig has been with Rafa for many years and has often served as his ‘primary’ coach on tour, even when Uncle Toni was Rafa’s principal coach; especially on the American hard court swing, including the US Open. (I understand that Toni was not very comfortable flying long distance.) I am sure that Carlos would have been watching Rafa’s matches closely on TV and, if he had any advice for him, he would have given him that advice via Skype or Zoom. Carlos has a young family and can’t accompany Rafa to every tournament. Rafa knows and understands that and has no problem with it. Personally, I don’t think Carlos’ physical presence would have made any difference on this occasion. Carlos has been great for Rafa and long may that relationship continue but he doesn’t need to attend a tournament in order to give Rafa advice if he needs or wants it. This was a tough loss for Rafa. He deserves and has earned (many times over) the loyal support of his fans on this website and elsewhere, especially after difficult losses. Rafa is happy with his Team. He respects them and, in my opinion, we should too.

      • I must disagree with you. There is a history of of failure in the previous Rafael’s team: When his uncle was “the” coach. Back then, big mistake: Toni is not a professional tennis coach. If fact, Toni is an empirical man. Thanks to Carlos, Rafael’s professional tennis returned to success. Roy should not be in Rafael’s coaching: Simple, there should be one and only one main coach and Carlos has proven to the best coach. It is time for Roy to go: Besides, supposedly he has his own tennis academy. Why his father always intruding? When Rafael is at work, he needs full concentration in his competition: No distractions. Besides, I can sense definitely that something is wrong in Rafael’s team, and this situation has been going on for years, and that is why in numerous occasions he has failed to achieve success. It is my advice: Rafael should have a stress free environment if he wants to be on top of his professional tennis career.

  3. This was a tough loss. My heart breaks for Rafa. As always, he has the right attitude. He congratulates the winner and moves on with a positive attitude. This is a lesson many “fans” who are commenting here need to learn. After reading many posts today, it is difficult to know that this is a Rafa fan site. Please guys. Have a bit if compassion. Rafa is a human, not a machine. Enjoy watching this awesome tennis player while we can. Personally. I treasure every match that I have the privilege of watching him. It won’t last forever. Vamos Rafa.

    • I agree with you Dallas in USA. Like you, I do wonder whether some of those who comment on this website are genuine Rafa fans. Rafa has lost only two matches when two sets up in his WHOLE career; so he does not make a habit of it. I don’t believe that he is mentally weak; on the contrary. He is extremely tough, mentally. (No-one wants to win more than he does.) Players who are mentally weak feign illness or injury, swear, break rackets, complain and/or abuse their coaches ‘when the going gets tough’. (We all know who does this.) Rafa doesn’t do any of these things. Djokovic is more successful than Rafa on hard courts because he has a game which is perfectly suited to hard courts. Rafa doesn’t. Rafa’s game is perfectly suited to clay; yet, despite this, he has won many hard court titles, including four US Opens! Remember too that far more tournaments are played on hard courts than on clay, (including two of the four Slams, as well as the ATP Tour Finals), which favours the Djokovic style of play. Let’s give Rafa a break.

  4. In every game ,every game, there is a winner and a loser, only one wins. In life one wins and loses….Rafa knows this. His fans obviously do not accept that he is juman, just like the rest of us. He just realizes that he is unable to win every single match in life. Yes, he becomes fearful that he is not going to win…..and fear does things to a person. I am glad he is heartfully human, not like others in the sport.

  5. I didn’t have high hopes for this event because Rafa was only able to play one warm-up match due to his back injury, so I don’t think reaching the QFs and losing to another top 10 player is bad going, but it’s very disappointing when he was 2 sets to 0 up. Hoping that Stef can go on to win it now – Karatsev, with all due respect to him, has got no chance of beating Nole, and I wouldn’t mind Daniil winning it but he’s a bit stroppy whereas Stef is a lovely guy. I see that Rafa said he was cramping in the press conference, so maybe the lack of preparation did catch up with him, especially on such a hot day.

    • Rafael Nadal lost because of his “company”. It may no sense at all his entourage; a bunch of parasites looking for a bite. Very sad: This is not new at all, it has been going on since “Toni”. His coach, a great man, Carlos Moya was absent! Why? That just does not make any sense since this is a grand slam and supposedly Carlos is “the” coach. What is going on? If Carlos has been by his side, another result we will have seen for sure! 100% sure! Rafael, take care of yourself!

  6. Yes, once again so close and yet so far. Rafa has said “no excuses” ….. mentioned some of his misses and gives credit to tsitsipas. Right. But I wonder if he and his team discuss why this has been happening so much these last years especially at the Australian Open. Does Rafa even give his mental condition at these times a thought??? Does he even think it could be a mental issue?
    What a pity! I really really thought that he might, just might be able to do it this year. Certainly didn’t expect him to go down to tsitsipas.

    Anyway you are still my hero and will always be.

    Good luck for the rest of the year.

  7. Rafa should’ve won it in straight seats 3big mistakes in the tie breaker cost him the whole match but it happens is ok Rafa you are not a Machine good luck for the next tournament we love you 😘❤️😘👍

  8. Everyone can blame Rafa, Rafa’couch or what ever the fact is in sports is either u lose or win, can’t lose everytime or win everytime, yes it happens while we thought Rafa is through, he won the French Open 13 times more than anyone who had played tennis and of course more than those who r still playing and no one will ever overtake him he will remain the KING of Tennis and clay for ever, let’s concentrate in Rafa’going forward and upcoming matches, don’t forget that he’s turning 35 this year, as for Novak will win, maybe yes maybe no, he will be turning 34 anything can happen watch the space, for our champ Rafa, u will remain my champ until until Vavamos until until, hard luck today and good luck for the coming grand slam

  9. ON TO ROTTERDAM is all I can say. Most of the top 20 have committed. Hopefully, between now and then, March 1-7, Rafa can figure out what is going on with his game. He will have some strong competition.


  10. I do not believe that rafa’s year are catching up to him. Dont forget against all younger players he has the best track record better then federer and djokovic.

    Its just he is losing matches that he should not be losing thats all

  11. Have anyoane observed that rafa”s position on court? He stayed much more closer to baseline. I thinck it os a positive fact. What arw your opinion? Maybe if he stayed few steps back he would return the first swrve. But maybe in furure this will be a smart decision.

  12. I totally agree: Rafa choked and has lost his mental edge. Also, Moya, who Rafa pays a lot to be his coach SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE FOR SUCH AN IMPORTANT TOURNAMENT AS IS THE AO . No excuses! If I were Rafa, I would fire him..Sadly, no one can now stop Djoko from winning the 2021 AO tournament.

    • You are so wrong.mark my words.djokovic will not win this the moment he is not et their level and if zveref was a bit stronger mentally he wouldnt mot even be here.

  13. Pamela, were we both watching the same match? I beg to differ. There is no denying that Stefanos played well, but the unforced errors stat tells the story. The fact is that Rafa got nervous in the third set when he realised he couldn’t shake off Stefanos. I was hoping that it wouldn’t go to a tiebreak, because Stefanos had been earning points on serve much more easily.

    At the end of the second set Mischa Zverev, commentating for Eurosport, was asked what Stefanos has to do to turn the match around. He said that Stefanos needs to prolong the rallies in the hope that Rafa makes more errors and begins to doubt himself. That is exactly what Stefanos did and he got into a good rhythm in the match, making Rafa play one more ball.

    I haven’t seen Rafa look that depondent for quite a while, not even at the Tour Finals against Medvedev. It was painful to see him looking up worried to his box as if to say he’s run out of ideas.

    Rafa has to find a way to steady his nerves when trying to get over the finish line in big matches on hard court before its too late.

    Meanwhile, I’m praying for a new AO champion. Someone, anyone except Novak. PLEASE!!

    • Rafa’s match stats were very good. For those who take an interest in them, they can be found on the AO App. Some of the key stats –
      Rafa Tsitsipas
      Points Won: 142 145
      Winners: 58. 49
      Unforced Errors: 42. 38
      Serve Points Won: 108. 102
      Return Points Won: 34. 41

      These stats seem to suggest that Rafa struggled to return Tsitsipas’ serves at times, which doesn’t surprise me. Tsitsipas is 6’4” with a big serve and he served well. Returning his first serve on a fairly quick hard court was always going to be tough, even for Rafa who has an excellent returning record against all the top players.
      In addition to this, as we all know, Rafa made three unfortunate and unexpected unforced errors in the third set tie-break and this proved to be the turning point in the match. Unfortunately, as players get older they tend to get more nervous in tight moments, no matter how experienced they are or how successful they have been in the past (or who coaches them). Martina Navratilova said this affected her game towards the end of her career and we know that it is affecting Serena Williams too. All three are great champions. We cannot reasonably expect Rafa to be impervious to this at the age of 35 (especially when facing tough young opponents who can play freely against him. (Rafa was also fearless when he was younger.) Tsitsipas is one of those. He had nothing to lose against Rafa, with a 1:6 record against him, which made it easier for him to play well under pressure. What is truly amazing is how well Rafa manages the pressure at his age. Let’s see if Thiem, Zverev, Tsitsipas and Medvedev can amass 20 Slams each over the course of their careers. I have my doubts. Rafa is still playing extremely well. We should all be very grateful for that. I know I am.

      • Who brought back Rafael since 4 years ago when he was not having success? Simple, Carlos Moya. Where was Carlos Moya during the tournament? Certainly not with Rafael. So who were with him? Roy, a mediocre trainer supposedly his coach also since 2005. So, partially Rafa is responsible for his failure: It is inconceivable to have two coaches full time! When you are in competing in a grand slam you only have time to prepare for the next match: Physical therapy, Studying the opponent, Training, and resting. Nothing more. Why would so many “nonsense” people were there distracting and disturbing? I have a guess: Parasites. You see, the physical trainer and the coach, Carlos Moya, are the necessary company. So now you know why Rafael lost: He was not properly prepared mentally and professionally.

  14. We will not pretend that defeat is ever easy to accept. Our expectations are always stellar. However, you are teaching us gracious acceptance. As you have penned, failure makes you appreciate the moment of victory. We hope your injuries have not resurfaced. 🙏for coping with Covid down under, and providing “suffering” fans with some entertainment. If you can be resilient, so can we. Rest, recover, and stay safe. 👏💪👍🤛🍀🎾❤️

    • Beautifully said.

      Every year the SAME pattern repeats… We get our hopes high at the AO, and ultimately suffer from the defeat along with our champ.

      But somewhere down the line he always puts the smile back on our faces.

      Whatever the reasons or failings, Rafa’s AO 2021 has come to a screeching halt. I’m very bitter about it but like he said himself, that’s life.

      Now I can put my hater hat on and hope someone can put an end to Djokovic. Looking at you Medvedev!

  15. I am very sorry but that is just too easy. Rafa lost today because he choked. He had the match in his hand today what happend. Rafa has choked a lot in the last nine years. This tournament has been a curse for rafa everytime you think nadal has a chance something happens. Either he is injured or he is choking.

    In 2012 he lost to nole in the final after leading 4-2 in the final set and 30-15
    In 2014 he lost to wawrinka due to back injury (that was nadal best shot at winning the title)
    In 2017 he lost to federer after leading 3-1 in the fifth set
    In 2018 he retired against cilic in the quarterfinal in the fifth set due to injury
    In 2019 he got destroyed by nole
    In 2021 he lost to tsiparas after leading 2-0 sets

    Rafa should make the decision not to come to australia for the remaining years of his career and focuss on tournaments he can win just like federer is doing.

    Furthermore I also want to say about nadal state of mind. Before nadal lost to djokovic he had a incredible statistisc when it came to play five sets that record was 17 wins and three losses. After the loss against nole he lost the majority of matches going to five sets. Nadal lost his mentale strenght he used to have over his competitors and dont talk with me about age. Djokovic is 33 years of age and is mentally the toughest player to beat.

    He choked against fognini in new york 2015 he choked against medvedev last year in the semi final of world tour finals he almost choked against him in the final of the us open 2019 and choked against stefanos.

    If i were carlos moya i would have confronted him with it perhaps its time to add another person to his team maybe someone like boris becker who can teach him mental toughness or maybe uncle toni should return back

    • Marijnt, I agree that Rafa lost his nerve today and choked. However, I don’t think he should skip Australia from now on just because he hasn’t actually lifted the trophy for one reason or another since he won in 2009. He’s a fighter and fighters don’t quit. Yes, he may never win the AO again before he’s done, but then again he might.

      Andy Murray lost at the finals of the AO five times and many times en route, but he never quit.
      Serena Williams has had her struggles since returning to the tour, but she hasn’t quit. There is scar tissue from countless losses and I agree that Rafa needs to bring someone in to help strengthen his mindset when it comes to closing out important matches. Give up? No. It’s not in Rafa’s DNA.

      • Lorna

        thanks for your reply

        I believe that no one is more dissapointed about this loss then rafa himself. But I as a diehard fan had to bear some tough losses from my hero. First it was against medvedev during the tour finals. I really thought last season was great opportunity for rafa to win the paris masters for the first time and then the atp tour finals and now against stefanos.

        Why are his team not analyzing why nadal has lost his mental edge in the last nine years losing so many close matches.

      • Maybe the years are finally catching up to him? Who knows. I won’t go so far as to say he should skip the AO and other tournaments. But let’s consider that Rafa will certainly start to decline at some point, and it may be happening right in front of our eyes? Not a rapid decline mind you, he still has 3 slams probably left in him… But I think we should cut our champ some slack.

        He will be back to his winning ways soon enough. Probably never again at the AO so let’s make peace with that and enjoy Rafa for all the joy he’s brought our way.

  16. Thank you Rafa for all you did to win this quarterfinal match. We watched in the early hours of the mourning
    You did everything right a few misses yes but certainly an exceptional performance.
    You are such a force for good and greatness and we are so glad you will continue to meet the tennis challenges
    in the future. You provide a great learning on how to succeed when challenges seem overwhelming. Please do
    not leave the Tennis stage. Society and young people need you. We will be watching as always and always
    support you.

  17. You are the GOAT, whether you win or lose, you will always be a winner in my eyes. You have the right attitude, No Excuses, much love Rafa 🥰

  18. You lost because of the bunch of parasites you carry around: They are not doing nothing for you. Why Carlos Moya, who is your “coach” was not around? Do you know that a great deal the success you have had lately, about the last 3 years, is do to your coach Carlos? My guess is that your have not understood that you don’t have good company!

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