THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011
Rafa Ready To Bide His Time
by Kate Flory|
Rafael Nadal acknowledged that he lost to the world’s best player when he fell to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final. But the 10-time Grand Slam champion knows from experience that his chance will come again after losing to the Serb in their past five meetings.
“Seriously, I lost because I was playing against the best player of the moment, the best player of the world tomorrow,” said the Spaniard, who will lose his No. 1 ranking to Djokovic on Monday. “And when you play against these players and they are playing unbelievable, the normal thing is to lose. That's what happened the last few times.
“My experience says this level is not forever. Even for me, when I won three Grand Slams last year, my level of last year is not forever. Probably the level of Novak today is not forever. I am going to be here fighting all the time, waiting for my moment, waiting for my moment to beat him another time.
“The past five times wasn't my time. I am going to wait and I am going to try at the sixth [opportunity]. And if the sixth doesn't happen, then the seventh. It's going to be like this. That's the spirit of the sport.”
The 25-year-old Nadal, who also fell to Djokovic in the final of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome this season, admitted that those defeats affected him at crunch stages in the match and lamented his poor play on the big points in the final.
“I started the match without thinking [about those defeats]. But when you arrive to 5-4, these moments it probably affects a little bit. That's what happened, and that's why.
“The most important thing, to win in matches here, to win tough matches like today, like two days ago [against Andy Murray], is to play well in the important moments. There are few points in the match that can change the match, and I didn't [play well] today.
“He's in the best moment of his career and I am in one of the best moments of my career,” continued the Roland Garros champion. “But it is still not enough for him. I have to play deeper. I have to play more aggressive. I have to have less mistakes. That's what I have to do. He played better than me. He played very, very, very high level for moments. For that reason he is the champion here.”