Rafael Nadal seemed like a distraught man after his crushing defeat to Dominic Thiem in the quarter finals of the Madrid Open.
Nadal looked a little out of sorts yesterday against Thiem, but that could primarily be attributed to Thiem’s intensity and efficiency during crunch moments of the game.
In the end, Thiem’s attacking style paid off as he made every difficult shot that there was to make, and Nadal was left searching for answers and maybe left hoping that Thiem’s level would suffer a dip.
A 3 set match is though a very short period for someone’s hot streak to go away and hence Nadal couldn’t really find his way through.
As a consequence of the loss, Nadal will lose his World Number one ranking to Roger Federer. The ranking dip did hit Nadal hard, however, he admitted that he didn’t expect to keep the ranking for long, after having missed out on the initial few months of Tennis this season.
“You cannot be No. 1 five months without competing” Nadal said.
“Of course, this is the ATP ranking. We’re not talking about something that you have maybe some more margin.
“I think from Shanghai till Monte-Carlo, I hadn’t finished a single tournament. We’re talking about a lot of months that I gave up.
“If we were talking about the ranking of one year, if I played really good in one period of the year, which I’ve done, let’s be clear, I have been playing really good recently. Last year I made it to the finals in every single tournament. This year till now I had only one or two tournaments that I had played. This is the reality of this year.
“Five months without playing in a tournament means that I cannot be No. 1. I’m not even thinking about that. I’m not going to keep the No. 1 today. At the end of the year we will see what happens.” he added.
Nadal obviously prefers the number one ranking, but conceded that the way his season has gone up until now, he didn’t really have a chance to cement that spot.
The spaniard though is looking forward to the upcoming season and is happy that he is fit and competing in all tournaments possible.
“But 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.” he concluded.