Following a second straight loss to Andy Murray in Madrid on Saturday in the semifinals, Rafael Nadal isn’t discouraged. The defeat snapped a 13-match winning streak
“I think I had another positive week,” Nadal said after the 7-5, 6-4 loss. “I made it to the semifinals. I think I’m very consistent every week. This is good news. Well, today mentally I think I was okay. I fought a lot until the end. I tried to look for solutions, and I think I did that; it wasn’t enough.
“Well, I think I’m on a positive path. I hope to continue on this path. I feel happy competing. I’m comfortable. Also when I train, I train with a lot of joy to continue going this way.”
Nadal, however, admitted it wasn’t a great performance from Murray.
“Murray was not unbeatable today,” Nadal said. “I think it was an open match, an even match. We fought a lot. At the end there were just a few decisive balls. Whoever plays those better is the one who wins the match. I think he did it, especially in the serve. As I said, here in Madrid you can see the difference a little bit more. Perhaps more than other places. That’s why he managed to obtain a lot of free points, especially in important moments.
“Of course I didn’t play my best level, but I didn’t play badly. I think I played a medium level, which was not enough to beat Murray today.”
“It’s true last couple of days the conditions are colder, cloudy, and it’s not the ideal conditions for me. Even like this, for sure it’s not an excuse, no? You have to adapt to all the conditions if you want to have success. I think Andy adapted better than me to that conditions.”
Nadal now heads to Rome where the 7-time champion has made the finals six of the last seven years. Last year he lost to Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.
The French Open begins a week from Sunday. And Nadal pegs Murray among the favorites.
“He can win the title,” he said of Murray’s chances in Paris. “If you were in the semifinal two times and you lost in five sets in semifinals, it’s obvious that you can win the title, no?
“But like everybody, you need to arrive fresh physically and mentally and playing your best tennis. Roland Garros is a tough tournament, two weeks, best-of-five sets, and anything can happen.”
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