The first sign of greatness is acknowledging the greatness of others.
And a great Rafael Nadal is. Instead of blaming the hard quarantine conditions in Australia or look for other excuses for his quarterfinal loss, Rafa has come forward to praise his opponent Stefano Tsitsipas while also thanking the Australian open organizers for what has been a largely successful tournament.
On the other hand, Serena Williams had to endure yet another grand slam exit and now at 39, time is running out for her to overtake Margaret Court’s tally of 24 slams.
“Not the guy to find excuses,”says Nadal
Stefano Tsitsipas produced a comeback for the ages to beat Rafa -6, 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 7-5 after being 2 sets down.And while many would say that Nadal was a tad unlucky on crucial points,Rafa claims otherwise.
“Just accept(the deafeat). I never considered myself an unlucky person at all. Doesn’t matter the injuries that I had. I think I am a very lucky person.“
He also refused to blame the unusual build-up to the coronavirus-disrupted Grand Slam for his surprise defeat.
“We can find excuses or reasons, or maybe this quarantine that we need to be more time in the room than usual,” he said.
“But I’m not the guy that’s going to find excuses on that or going to complain about what happened, no. “
Defending champion Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev both hit out at quarantine after their quarter-final on Tuesday, blaming it for a rash of early-season injuries.
But Nadal dismissed talk of halting the tour, or playing it in a series of “bubbles” to avoid further stints in quarantine, as suggested by Djokovic.
“There are two options: stop the tour or keep going,“Nadal simply concluded.
Naomi’s class, Serena’s heartbreak-
Serena Williams broke down in tears and cut short her post-match press conference after another failed bid to equal Margaret Court’s record Grand Slam haul, calling her defeat to Naomi Osaka “a big error day”.
The veteran American’s quest to reach a ninth Australian Open final and match Court’s 24 major singles titles ended in a 6-3, 6-4 semi-final mauling by the Japanese third seed.
The last of Serena’s 23 grand slams came nearly 4 years back in 2017 Australian Open and while back then it seemed that Margaret Court’s record would be just another milestone in Serena’s illustrious career, it has instead proved to be a major hurdle.
Williams has lost 4 slam finals since then and the manner of her tearful farewell does indicate that the greatest womens’ tennis player may have played her last match in Melbourne.