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Nadal: 'It Is Not A Tragedy'

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Nadal© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal is now 48-2 lifetime at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

Rafael Nadal suffered his first loss at the Monte-Carlo Country Club since 2003 on Sunday.

In losing to Novak Djokovic 6-2, 7-6(1), it ended his 46-match winning streak at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament.

Nadal, who had won the title from 2005-2012, admitted that, “It is not a tragedy. I lost after eight years without losing here. 

“Today, he was better than me… He's a fantastic player. If you are not at 100 per cent, [it] is very difficult to win against these kinds of players. His game is very complete. To win, I have to play my best and I have to bring him to the limit.”

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Nadal is now 38-6 lifetime in clay-court finals, losing to three different players – Djokovic (three times), Roger Federer (twice) and Horacio Zeballos (once).

Since returning from an eight-month absence in February, the 26-year-old Spaniard has compiled a 21-2 match record and reached five straight finals on the ATP World Tour.

“I think it was a positive week,” said Nadal. “I didn't practice in Mallorca, I just practised here before the tournament. Without much preparation, I was able to play in the final. This week is going to help me be fit for the next weeks. 

“I felt for moments in the second set, I played my best tennis of the week. So that's important.  When I was doing that, I wasn't far off him. I need more matches to play with this intensity all the time. I need to be completely focused in every moment. 

“Hopefully, I can play another great week in Barcelona next week [and] play some matches that will keep helping to put me in the 100 per cent physical conditioning.”

Nadal will next compete at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, where he has won his past 34 matches.

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