SHANGHAI ROLEX MASTERS 2013
Nadal Praises del Potro After Defeat
by ATP Staff|
Rafael Nadal's bid for his Shanghai Rolex Masters title ended on Saturday with a loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals. After the match, the World No. 1 praised the game of his Argentine opponent and reflected on the success of his own 2013 season thus far.
"[Del Potro] played a lot of important points to the limit,” said Nadal, who still holds an 8-4 record in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. "He was able to keep hitting the lines, playing as hard as he could, and made no mistakes in those important moments.
"It is great to see him play again at this very, very high level. In the end it's good to have players who have the potential to play at this unbelievable level."
The Spaniard leaves Shanghai satisfied with his own level of play, even after this first loss to del Potro since the 2009 US Open semi-finals. "I'm going home knowing that I did all that I had to do. I played today against a player that was better than me tonight.
"Getting to the semi-finals is a positive result," he added. "I played seven [ATP World Tour Masters 1000] events this year. I played in six finals, earned five titles and reached one semi-final. You cannot expect to be in the final every week, especially when the best players are also there.";
After Shanghai, Nadal will go on to play the Swiss Indoors Basel and the BNP Paribas Masters, in Paris. "I'm going to Paris with the motivation to keep playing well," said Nadal. “The rest of the season is for enjoying what I have already accomplished this year." He added, "What happened to me this season is just very emotional and fantastic."
The Mallorcan has already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, joining Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and del Potro in an elite group. Great Britain's Andy Murray had also secured a berth but withdrew from the tournament due to injury. The season finale is held at The O2 arena in London 4-11 November.