Tennis: Rafa Nadal not interested in excuses after shock Rome exit

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter final match against Argentina's Diego Schwartzman. (Reuters)

Rafael Nadal refused to make excuses for his shock defeat by Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open, insisting that his focus is now on fine-tuning his game ahead of the French Open which begins September 27.

The nine-time Rome champion looked well off the pace in his 6-2 7-5 loss to the 15th-ranked Argentine, an opponent he had defeated nine straight times heading into Saturday’s encounter in the Italian capital.

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“We can find excuses, but I didn’t play well enough. Then we have to think internally, ‘Why? How I can fix it?’“ the 34-year-old Spaniard told reporters. “Now is not the moment to find excuses. It’s just to accept that I didn’t play well enough.”

“It was not my night. He played a great match, I think, and I didn’t. These things can happen. After such a long time without competing, I played two good matches, and now I played a bad one against a good opponent.

“That’s how it is. I just want to congratulate Diego and I’m going to keep working.”

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Nadal, who skipped the US Open in New York due to COVID-19 concerns, said he would regroup before heading to Paris, where he will bid for a record-extending 13th title.

“It’s a completely special and unpredictable year. I probably will go back home and then let’s see what’s going on,” the 19-time Grand Slam champion said.

“I did my job here. I did a couple things well and other things bad. I’m going to keep working and keep practicing with the right attitude and try to give myself a chance to be ready.”

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Last Update: Monday, 21 September 2020 KSA 23:11 - GMT 20:11
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