The 2014 Roland Garros champion has not gotten off to the best of starts on grass this season.
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal lost his opening match at the Gerry Weber Open to Germany’s Dustin Brown, who beat the Spaniard 6-4, 6-1, and at one time won six consecutive games to lead 6-4, 5-0 in the second set.
“I was able to play very well on grass in the past,” said Nadal, who reached five straight Wimbledon finals he contested between 2006-’11 (he did not play in 2009) and won the title twice (2008, ’10).”
The Spaniard is concerned that his loss will impact his projected performance at this year’s Wimbledon Championships.
“But to play well on grass the most important thing is to play matches. You need to play with confidence… [and] you need to adjust. The only way to adjust is by playing matches and winning matches.”
When asked whether this loss was similar to his 2012 losses on grass, Nadal shrugged off that suggestion and said that it is impossible to compare since that was due to injury.
“I don’t count 2012 like a loss,” the left-hander said. “I was totally injured from my knee. I didn’t play anything for seven months. Last year I tried. I was not well enough. And this year, talking about my knee, I’m much better than last year. I lost today because my rival was playing better than me.”