Rafael Nadal has explained his abnormally sub-par performance in the Australian Open final, admitting that injury hampered his preparations.
The Spaniard was comprehensively overpowered by Novak Djokovic in Melbourne, despite not dropping a single set en-route to the final.
It has led to some observers suggesting Nadal was struggling with injury on the day and, while he has refuted those suggestions, he does admit injury played it’s part, claiming the ankle surgery he underwent last November, as well as the slight relapse he suffered in Dubai, meant he was unable to work sufficiently on the defensive side of his game.
“I was playing great during both weeks [at the Australian Open], “Nadal told Banco Sabadell.
“I practiced well, very well I think, but because of the things that happened to me in terms of surgery, then what happened in Abu Dhabi, I was not able to work that much the defensive game.”
Glory for Great Britain in Fed Cup play-offs.
Fabio Fognini has done it! He has won the Monte-Carlo Masters.
Australia reach first Fed Cup final since 1993.
Tasty Barcelona Open draw.
BT Sport host Clare Balding speaks to Tennis365 about the importance of Fed Cup success.
Djokovic’s sights on “ultimate goal” the French Open.
It’s a struggle for Rafael Nadal at the moment.
All to play for in Fed Cup.
Favourite crashes out at Monte-Carlo Masters.
Was the court playing slower than usual?