Australian Open 2021: Nadal vows to keep fighting after bowing out to Stefanos Tsitsipas
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal shrugged off his derailed bid for the Grand Slam record with a pledge to keep “fighting” but the Spaniard leaves the Australian Open with familiar regrets after bowing out to a rising talent on Wednesday.
Nadal appeared set to cruise into the last four at Melbourne Park but was overhauled 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5 by Stefanos Tsitsipas, an opponent he destroyed in the 2019 semi-finals.
“Just another story in my tennis career,” Nadal told reporters with a rueful smile.
“That’s it. Another match I lost here in Australia with important advantage. (I) just accept and keep going. That’s the life.
“I am playing against one of the best players of the world, so you always have to expect the best from the opponent and be ready for anything.”
Nadal had a disrupted preparation for the Grand Slam this year, with a lower back strain putting him out of the ATP Cup.
He has had plenty of injury problems at Melbourne Park in the past and been stopped four times in the finals. He snorted when asked if he was cursed Down Under.
“No, no, no. Not at all feeling unluckyand not at all am I complaining about my luck here in Australia,” he said.
“Everyone have what (they) deserve. Tennis isn’t a sport that is fair. I have what I deserved in my career, and over here in Australia I had chances, but I was not able to convert it. That’s all”
For now, Nadal will head off and regroup, he said. “Life continues. I hope to keep having chances. Well, I (am) going to keep fighting for it.”