Nadal won't give up on Wimbledon
Rafael Nadal won’t turn his back on Wimbledon despite a third successive flop engineered by 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios in a frightening glimpse of what the future may hold for the 14-time Grand Slam winner.
The undisputed king of the French Open, where he has nine titles and owns a staggering match record of 66 wins to just one defeat, the 28-year-old Nadal is enduring diminishing returns at the All England Club.
Champion in 2008 and 2010 and runner-up for a third time in 2011, Nadal was beaten in the second round in 2012, the first round last year and fell in the last-16 to Australian rookie Kyrgios on Tuesday losing 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 3-6 in a stunning Centre Court upset.
Kyrgios also played one of the shots of the year, which you can catch in the video highlights (above).
Nadal's record at the tournament now stands at 39 wins and eight losses.
But he remains confident that he can win another title at Wimbledon, a belief fuelled by having injury-free knees which have been tested to the limit in London where the ball bounces lower, increasing the stress factor on his suspect joints.
He also pointed to only dropping serve once against Kyrgios in a match which came down to a serve and return contest as the teenager blasted 37 aces and 70 winners past the shell-shocked Nadal.
“I tried my best, as always I do when my physical performance gives me the chance to try my best. The last two years I didn’t have that chance to try my best because my knee was not right to compete,” said Nadal.
“But this year I felt the knee was right to compete. I competed and I think I competed well. It was not enough, but that’s sport. The opponent was better than me. Life continues.”
Sources: AFP, Wimbledon YouTube channel