Australian Open: Rafael Nadal defends his attitude during quarter-final loss to Dominic Thiem
Rafael Nadal said he “had a good, positive, fighting spirit all the time and he gave himself an opportunity until the last point” after losing to Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Rafael Nadal said he "had a good, positive, fighting spirit all the time and he gave himself an opportunity until the last point" after losing to Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Thiem produced a terrific performance to undo the World No. 1, who was in trouble after losing the first two sets. Nadal, who is known for his fighting spirit, bounced back into the match by claiming the third set. The top seed easily was the less superior of the two on Wednesday and neither did he have any luck with the tiebreaks.
The Austrian, who is set to play his maiden Australia Open semi-final match, won all the three sets on tiebreak as he closed off the match at 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (8-6) in four hours and 10 minutes at Melbourne Park.
Thiem will face Germany's Alexander Zverev, while the other semi-final is between the tennis legends Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
It was one of those rare matches where Nadal lost his cool. The chair umpire Aurelie Tourte gave Nadal a time violation for taking too long to serve after winning a brutal 19-shot rally, while he led 3-2 in the second set. An irritated Nadal replied saying, "You don't like good tennis."
The 2009 champion, who was still annoyed with the incident, then spoke to the tournament supervisor Andreas Egli. Later on, Nadal had another disagreement with Tourte over not being allowed to challenge a Thiem to serve.
At the 2018 US Open quarter-final, Thiem won the first set against Nadal inside 24 minutes. However, the former eventually lost a five-setter thrilling battle. The mental focus and concentration that Nadal showed in New York were absent in the first two sets in Melbourne on Wednesday.
In the post-match interview, Nadal praised Thiem's efforts but also defended his own mindset that was being questioned after the loss. "The ball became so heavy. With these heavy balls, it's difficult to produce winners sometimes. He has a lot of power, so he's able to produce these amazing shots from a very difficult position.
I don't see myself with a negative attitude during the whole match. I had a good, positive, fighting spirit all the time. I gave myself an opportunity until the last point," Nadal added.