Just over two weeks before the start of the first Grand Slam of the year, Rafa Nadal opened his season with defeat in the United Cup, against Cameron Norrie, an opponent who in his four previous meetings with the Spaniard had failed to win a set.
This Saturday, however, the Brit was more comfortable than the World No. 2 and was able to win the encounter, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Nadal, despite everything, did not want to draw conclusions beyond the match, in which he praised his opponent.
“He is a top player. I was not very impressed because I know he is very good. He did a lot of things well: very solid, no errors, serving well. I can do things better and I need to do it,” assured the Spaniard.
About the upcoming Australian Open, where Nadal will defend his title, he said that “I need to be faster physically and a little more solid. There is a way to improve, but I have time before the Australian Open starts in two weeks”.
The Spaniard, however, was disgruntled with the insistent questions about his retirement. “Every time I come to a press conference, it seems like I have to retire,” Nadal said.
“You are very, very interested in my retirement. At the moment, it’s not the case. When this day comes, I will let you know. But don’t go on about retirement because I’m here to continue playing tennis.”
Nadal’s next match at the United Cup will be this Monday against De Minaur.
“He’s a great player,” Nadal said of De Minaur. “He’s playing super fast, with a very high intensity. He has improved his serve. It will be another very tough match and I will have to play very well to have any chance.”