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Australian Open: Nadal coy on injury after Ferrer loss

Australian Open, Melbourne
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 17-30 January
Coverage: Watch on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only) & Eurosport; listen on BBC 5 live sports extra and online; text commentary online; full details

Rafael Nadal

Highlights - Nadal crashes out of Australian Open

Rafael Nadal refused to shed light on his injury after crashing out of the Australian Open in straight sets to his fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.

The world number one had his left thigh strapped in the first set but struggled as Ferrer won 6-4 6-2 6-3 to set up a semi-final with Andy Murray on Friday.

"I can say nothing about the injury. Seriously, I would prefer not to talk about it," said the 24-year-old.

"For respect to the winner and a friend I'd prefer to talk about the match."

The defeat ended Nadal's hopes of holding all four Grand Slam titles at the same time - the so-called 'Rafa Slam'.

It is a difficult day for me but I tried my best and couldn't do any more

Rafael Nadal

It was the first time Nadal had lost in a major since retiring with knee trouble against Murray in last year's Australian Open quarter-finals.

"It is a difficult day for me," added the nine-time Grand Slam champion. "I lost in the quarter-finals another time so I tried my best, I couldn't do more.

"Tonight I think I played against a great player, a great opponent."

Nadal struggled to get close to Ferrer's serve in the opening game and was eventually broken as his compatriot opened up a 2-0 lead.

The left-hander hit straight back in game three but then called for the trainer and headed to the locker room for a medical time-out.

It was thought Nadal may have been suffering from illness - perhaps relating to the fever that contributed to his exit from the Qatar Open - but he returned with strapping high up on his left leg.

Ferrer capitalised with an immediate break and although Nadal replied in game seven, his opponent responded immediately to seal the first set.

Now a shadow of his normal self, Nadal was brushed aside in the second set despite a strong start and Ferrer tore through the off-colour top seed in the third.

When pressed on the extent of his injury, Nadal continued on the defensive.

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"It's obvious that I didn't feel my best and had a problem during the match, at the very beginning," he said. "After that the match was almost over.

"It's difficult to come here and speak about it. In Doha I wasn't healthy and today I have another problem.

"It seems like I always have a problem when I lose and I don't want to have that image.

"I can't tell you what problem I have because I don't know. I don't have to tell you about what I felt on the court because I tried my best all the time."

Nadal bounced back from his disappointment against Murray this time last year by winning the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

He arrived in Melbourne aiming to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four majors simultaneously.

And he conceded he was bitterly disappointed at being denied a crack at history.

I think Andy is playing very good but David is playing at a high level - if he's able to keep playing like this he is going have a good chance

Rafael Nadal

"It is a difficult day for me but I tried my best and couldn't do any more," stated Nadal. "In tennis you have highs and lows. In my career I have had almost always good moments.

"Last year I was very lucky, I was healthy for most of the year. This year I have done everything to start the season well. I played well in Abu Dhabi but after that the problems started.

"This is one of the negative moments. That's part of the sport. If I am ready to accept both things the same then I will be able to come back and play my best tennis another time.

"I love playing tennis and love the competition."

Ferrer goes on to play Britain's world number five Murray and Nadal believes that although his compatriot is the underdog, he can still emerge victorious.

"He's playing fantastic. But I think he's not the favourite," he added. "But if he keep playing like this, hopefully he can have a good chance to be in the final or win the tournament. I would love that.

"David is a fantastic person and is a close friend of mine so I wish him all the best.

"I think that Andy is playing very good, too, but David is playing at high level, no? If he's able to keeps playing like this, I think he is going have a good chance."



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see also
Injured Nadal defeated by Ferrer
26 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Australian Open photos
26 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Aussie Open quotes of the day
26 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Nadal wins to set up Ferrer clash
24 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis


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