Rafael Nadal’s press conference following his loss against Frances Tiafoe in Round 4 of the 2022 US Open.
“Well done for him [Frances Tiafoe]. He was better than me. I played a bad match. He played a good match. I was not able to create the damage I used to.
“I was not able to hold a high level of tennis for a long time. I was not quick enough in my movement. 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.”
“Of course, this was not the ideal preparation for me. But in other cases, it has gone the right way, even without the perfect preparation. We can’t find excuses. We need to be enough of a critic [of] myself. That’s the only way to improve, that’s the only way that I understand that you are able to find solutions.
“I had been practicing well the week before, honestly. But then, when the competition started, my level went down. That’s the truth. For some reason, I don’t know, mental issues in terms of a lot of things happened the last couple of months. But it doesn’t matter. In the end, the only thing that happened is we went to the fourth round of the US Open and I faced a player that was better than me. And that’s why I am having a plane ride back home.
“Now I need to come back home, I have more important things than tennis.” 👶😍
I can’t help but notice that Tiafoe beat Rublev in straight sets today. At least Rafa took a set from Tiafoe, but too bad Rafa was not in the best shape physically and emotionally. Tiafoe is in such strong form. No sets lost except for the one to Rafa. Imagine if Tiafoe wins the whole event?! Reminds me when Coric won Cincy title and beat everyone along the way, with Rafa being the only one who could even take a set off him when Rafa was clearly compromised physically and emotionally with his wife’s health concerns. That’s why I will have 100% faith in Rafa when he returns to the tour fit and healthy. Look forward to him avenging the loss to Tiafoe and Coric too. He is still at a much higher level at age 36 when compared to the rest of the field! He is the true #1 regardless of what happens the rest of the US Open and year. Only Rafa has won 2 majors this year, beating Djokovic and lots of top players along the way! 😊
Totally agree! Rafa is no longer pursuing the #1 ranking, but it sure would be nice to see him get it back at some point with the great results from this year!
I looked at some projections. Only way for Rafa not to take back the #1 ranking is for either Ruud or alcaraz to reach the us open final. Even so, both players have lots of points to defend for rest of year, but Rafa has nothing to defend. So, Rafa still has a chance to get back #1 ranking. That would be icing on the dream 2022 cake. 🍰
Rafa is a true inspiration to players and fans alike. If you look at the current group of champions on the men’s and women’s tours, many have been inspired by Rafa! Casper Ruud, Carlos Alcaraz, Jack Draper, Matteo Berrettini, Iga Swiatek, Paula Badosa, Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Garbine Muguruza, Daria Kasatkina, to name a few – all have noted Rafa as their idol at some point in their careers! Just watching the ESPN coverage of the Iga vs Pegula US Open match now, and their showing of Iga biting the winners’ trophies is just too cute (taking after Rafa’s lead of course)!
Hi Rafa Fan, you forgot to mention Andrei Rublev! He has been a huge Rafa Fan.😃
Wondering whom the next star will be born from Rafa’s academy?! Even after Rafa retires (hopefully not until many more years), he will be inspiring future men’s and women’s champions especially with his model behavior, hard working. and fight til the end spirit. That will be his true legacy long after Rafa calls it a career.
Looks like Rafa is guaranteed to rise to at least the #2 ranking after the US Open. Ruud is the only one who can overtake him and he has been a student of Rafa’s academy. What a well deserved achievement for Rafa! 😀
It’s ok Rafa. You win most and lose very few matches. It was not meant to be this year with your injuries and physical issues and stress from personal issues. We are so proud of your two major titles this year and can’t wait until you return to competition, which we know you love! We know you will be a great dad and be a huge inspiration to your son.
Take your time Rafa.
REST, ENJOY YOUR WONDERFUL MOMENTS, HEAL, RELAX. for you deserve to joy in life and your wonderful family. Most of all Heal !!!..,You have given us all you’ ve got for now. MANY THANKS.
I so wanted Rafa to figure out how to win the match but everything that the self aware Rafa said about his own play is correct. And Tiafoe played great. Rafa is feeling down right now but he will bounce back. I think everyone except for one guy on this site can understand the mental and physical stress that Rafa has been under since March. That will pass too.
My one take away from Wimbledon and the hard court season is that the big first serve is ruling the day. Even Medvedev’s first serve seems just average. When Tiafoe needed a point he sent a 135 mph serve down the T. ( His second serve though was under 90 mph late in the match but Rafa seemed unable to respond.)
Rafa will never have a 130 mph first serve but he can be more consistent and his second serve success rate has always been one of his strengths. Coach Moya said in an interview at ATPTour.com that the team changed Rafa’s serve just before the US Open to put less stress on the ab. Moya said that the serve speed was actually faster than before. So at some point in the near future I’m sure that Rafa and the team will settle on the best way forward for the serve and the rest of his game. Rafa will adjust.
I feel confident in saying that Rafa won’t miss the Laver Cup unless the ab is really acting up. Getting together with Roger will be like a vacation.
David – I also am hoping that Rafa plays the Laver Cup, but it seems from his comments that it may be up in the air at the moment. Nadal said he was now going home to “fix things,” and indicated he was not sure whether he would appear at Laver Cup as scheduled in three weeks. The baby is due next month.
“I don’t know when I going to come back. I going to try to be ready mentally. When I feel that I will be ready to compete again, I will be there,” he said.
I hope you are right about Laver Cup.🤞
if you movement is slower then perhaps your eating habits should changed hire a nutritionist do some test like djokovic did maybe nadal is allergic for something
Nadal talkes always about improving himself. If you have mental problems then do something about it hire someone you can talk with, if you have problems with serving then hire someone who can help you with. If you have trouble breathing on the court because you are nervous hire someone who can help you become calmer on the court. He is all talk no action
Enough of the criticism Marijnt! Rafa has more than exceeded everyone’s expectations of him over a very long and distinguished career. He does not need “advice” from you. Who does? No-one knows better than he and his Team what he needs to do. I find your constant negativity tiresome. Genuine Rafafans are just that. You are not and never will be one of them. (I’m sure Djokovic fans would welcome you with open arms.)
Why don’t you spend some of the time and energy you waste criticising Rafa trying to imagine how hard it must be to return to serving and playing well at the age of 36 after suffering from a rib stress fracture followed by an abdominal tear, with very little time on the practice courts since! You just don’t get it do you. Rafa could have retired a long time ago, given all the injury setbacks that he has had to endure, and yet here he is, having won two more Majors this year! Truly amazing. I wonder who you will criticise when Rafa does retire, which may not be too far away with a baby on the way.
I will critize rafa anytime i want this is a public forum you are not in charge of this forum rafa was terrible yesterday
You can criticize all you want, but I believe Rafa will not make too many drastic changes to his tennis game. Our champ cannot win everything. Give him a break- he won the AO and FO already and has nothing to prove. He won the US Open 4 times.
In hindsight, I think Rafa rushed into Wimbledon after the foot problems and picked up the abdominal tear. He should have skipped Wimbledon and focused on the US Open. Alas, the chips fell as they did, and this was not a 100% Rafa at the US Open.
We have to accept that. What else must Rafa do to entertain us? If he retires today I will be very happy with his achievements. But I hope he does not. He may still have some great tennis left in him yet. He will play when he’s very ready and good to go.
On the other note, it’s great to see the young guys breaking through.
Ginagigi, it’s called empathy and some people just don’t have any. We outnumber her/him a gazillion to 1.
He clearly wasn’t firing on all cylinders. I hope he makes the Laver Cup, but we’ll see, especially as Mery has had some issues with her pregnancy. Well done to Frances, who played very well.
Rafa, nobody can match your all around
talent and grace! You have made your
mark in the game of tennis. The standing
ovation after a loss is atest to that, Thank
you for being you!
Sorry to see you go Rafalein but I somehow saw it coming.
All the same, you are my Champ and always will be – the greatest!
Take time to rest, heal and to be with your family especially with your little son when he arrives.
All the best always!
Dear Rafa it is always a pleasure to watch you play. You are so graceful even when you are defeated. Always appreciation for your opponent. But, we your fans are so proud of you. You will always remain a champ for us. We need you to stay healthy. Your family needs you now. We are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of our lil junior Rafa. God bless you and your family. Love you Rafa always.
Take rest and enjoy the time with your family❤️
Vamps, Rafa. It was not your day and it happens once a while. You are still champion and can compete, so keep going.But I wish you and Mery a safe and healthy baby boy that fills your cup of joy. God bless you always.
I AM HOPEING THAT RAFA WILL REST AND ENJOY HIS NEW SON. IF I HAD MY WAY HE WOULD PRACTICE ALL HE NEEDS AND NOT COME BACK UNTIL THE ROLAND GAROES WE ALL WANT ONLY THE BEST FOR HIM AND WILL ALWAYS LOVE HIM FOR HIS GIVING HIS ALL. ALWAYS
Rafa-you are honest and fair. Today was not your day, but you fought your way back to be here. Two Grand Slams. And you have the birth of your baby to look forward to-a wonderful gift. All the best, Rafa🙏👏❤️
I’m not surprised at the result. Credit to an in-form Tiafoe, who won his previous three matches in straight sets. In contrast, Rafa has been searching for form all tournament. He needs time away from the court to clear his head and work on his serve and fitness level.
You have done well – time to give your time to your wife and new baby.
Rafa always says the right thing. The other guy played better for whatever reason. He has nothing to apologize for. He has had a fabulous career and been able to make a wonderful life for his family and future. I’m glad he appreciates that he has more important things in his life at home now. Vamos Rafa. Good luck and have a beautiful baby!!!!
There is no ‘Rafa always says the right thing’ as if he was being dishonest. Rafa was honest about his loss to Frances Tiafoe, ‘the other guy’ as you put it. There is an initialization for the former guy, TFG, of which your comment reminded me.
In no way was Rafa ‘apologizing.’ Please think before hitting the send key. If you saw his interview, what you saw was raw honesty from my favorite Champion, Rafa Nadal.
always gracious in accepting defeat hes really good man w a good heart he appreciates his opponent with good words
With you win or lose, Rafa!❤️ What a fantastic year you have had, two GS trophies!👏🙏
Spend some quality time with your friends and family especially your lovely wife🥰 Hope to see you at the Laver Cup. Vamos💪
Just say I am the co-author of your comment😂🤣
I feel like I am very close to you haha. I am in NY, arrived this morning. It’s a gloomy day, kind of like my mood now that Rafa is out of the tournament, but I have so much to be thankful for…hope to see Rafa back soon whenever he’s ready.❤️
Welcome to the Big Apple and enjoy. Sorry you missed our champ but maybe you will see some great tennis anyway. OK, I get it. Rafa is our number UNO but go and enjoy the possible futures.
My hero always…no excuses but always a true sportsman. Love Rafa so much 🥰
Rafa, you played well when you have your A game. Don’t be too hard on yourself! When you are good you thrill and amaze us in your excellence! Hold your head up and go home to be with your lovely wife! See you next time! Vamos!