Rafael Nadal did not return for the best star after a foot injury as the Spaniard was knocked out in the third round of the City Open in Washington. It was the former world number one’s first trip since losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the French Open.
The 13-time Roland Garros champion was disappointed after a three-set defeat at the hands of South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, but he wanted to take the positive from the match. Nadal admitted to feeling pain in his leg during the win over Jack Sock, but said after the loss that it felt much better, which was a good sign to move forward.
“The most positive thing is that my foot was better than yesterday, so that’s the good news,” Nadal said. As transcribed on the ATP Tour website.. “I played against a player who played well. At the moment, I think I played better than yesterday, but in the third when I had the opportunity, the truth is that his service was great and I did it. The last game was really bad. “
Nadal was 4-5 with a shot to win the decisive set and was the only player to have a break point so far. However, Harris continued his game and broke the Spaniard, earning a good 6-4. Won 1-6, 6-4 to become 20-time men’s singles Grand Slam champion.
“You can’t make mistakes in the crucial moments, and in the crucial moments I think in the last game, I was a little nervous. My service wasn’t working properly,” Nadal added. “That’s it. Yeah, well done to her. It’s a big victory for her. I wish her well.”
The City Open was Nadal’s first tournament since Roland Garros. The 35-year-old did not miss the Wimbledon and Olympic Games for a 20-day recovery from a foot injury. Nadal acknowledged that feeling better about his feet is the key to future tournaments with the US Open.
The Spanish star said: “I was able to move a little better, so it’s very important, especially for me personally, to enjoy the game and gain energy, to believe that important things are possible.”