In one of his worst performances in a final, Rafael Nadal routinely dismissed by Andy Murray in the final of the Madrid Masters yesterday. Nadal, who was a 2-time defending champion at his home Masters event, had never lost to Murray in six clay meetings, but yesterday the former No. 1 was far from himself, committing numerous errors in a lackluster effort against Murray.
The 63, 62 loss was his worst on a clay court since 2004 Bastad quarterfinals where he lost to Gaston Gaudio 62, 63.
Afterward, Nadal gave Murray credit for the win, then added that after a disappointing clay season, he would have been happy making the final. And that’s what he did.
“It’s been a positive week,” Nadal said. “I’m not going to lie. A week before I would’ve signed for these results, of course. I’ve played a couple good matches, especially yesterday’s match. I said that yesterday. It’s one of the best matches I have played in a long time.
“So I cannot leave Madrid not happy. I have leave happy and just delete what happened today. I will just stay with the good things that happened this week ‑ and there are a lot of them, more good than bad ‑ and then I will try to recover in Rome the feelings.
“I think I’ve made a step forward and I’m playing better. My game is better. I haven’t been able to play two weeks in a row, well, in the whole year. I think it’s time that I play two weeks in a row. Let’s see what happens next week in Rome. Hopefully I’ll be focused and fight as much as I can to make a good week.”
Nadal heads to Rome where he’ll be joined to Novak Djokovic who beat him in the 2014 final. After failing to defend his 2014 Madrid title, Nadal has seen his ranking drop to a 10-year low of No. 7 this week.
“Two weeks,” Nadal said Sunday, pointing to Paris. “That’s the time that we have, two weeks. It’s been a positive week. I said before, we still have Rome. I’m already thinking in Rome from this moment. I’ll try to go there tomorrow and train well, try to adapt to there, because it’s an important change. You change from playing with altitude to no altitude there.
“I’ll try to have a good week in Rome. And by a good week, that does not mean only to win. That means to do things good through the different days. Doing things well every single day, that’s a good week. It’s a very complicated tournament. We have the top players there. But I also know if I manage to play the level I did yesterday I can be competitive against every single player. So this is the path I have to follow and that’s what I’m going to try. I’m going to die to try and continue in yesterday’s path.”
UPDATE: Sorry for the headline snafu. Post updated – Tom.
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