Rafael Nadal refused to make excuses for his shock defeat by Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open, insisting that his focus is now on fine-tuning his game ahead of the French Open which begins September 27.
The nine-time Rome champion looked well off the pace in his 6-2, 7-5 loss to the 15th-ranked Argentine, an opponent he had defeated nine straight times heading into Saturday`s encounter in the Italian capital.
“We can find excuses, but I didn`t play well enough. Then we have to think internally, `Why? How I can fix it?`” the 34-year-old Spaniard told reporters. “Now is not the moment to find excuses. It`s just to accept that I didn`t play well enough.”
“It was not my night. He played a great match, I think, and I didn`t. These things can happen. After such a long time without competing, I played two good matches, and now I played a bad one against a good opponent.
“That`s how it is. I just want to congratulate Diego and I`m going to keep working.”
Nadal, who skipped the U.S. Open in New York due to COVID-19 concerns, said he would regroup before heading to Paris, where he will bid for a record-extending 13th title.
“It`s a completely special and unpredictable year. I probably will go back home and then let`s see what`s going on,” the 19-time Grand Slam champion said.
“I did my job here. I did a couple things well and other things bad. I`m going to keep working and keep practising with the right attitude and try to give myself a chance to be ready.”