After being thoroughly outplayed by defending champion Alexander Zverev at the ATP Finals, Rafael Nadal refused to make any excuses.
Facing match point at 5-1 down in the third set, Rafael Nadal gave himself about a one-in-a-thousand chance of beating Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals.
"Tonight you were playing short many times".
"It's definitly not one of the best performance of my career".
Russia's Medvedev, who has won two Masters titles this season, took the first set on a tie-break to leave Nadal staring down the barrel.
Asked what he might have been touching, he said: "I mean, a water bottle?" Nadal shot back after the 6-2 6-4 defeat. Is it a serious question or is it a joke?
"That's the thing that I am more disappointed, because knowing that I will not be at my 100 per cent in terms of feelings, in terms of movement, in terms of confidence or hitting the ball, I needed my best competitive spirit this afternoon, and I was not there in that way".
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"It is a big surprise for me (that) you ask me this after I have been with the same girl for 15 years and having a very stable and normal life".
"It doesn't matter if you put a ring on your finger or not".
Speaking ahead of their ATP Finals match, Medvedev had some strong words. Thiem played a fire-brand tennis in a high-stakes match against the 16-time Grand Slam victor as he spell bound the audience with his inside-out forehands and single-handed backhands.
Zverev won the season-ending event at the O2 Arena in London past year and beat Nadal 6-2 6-4 on Monday evening to make a winning start to his 2019 campaign.
Earlier, Federer defeated debutant Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 in their round-robin clash to keep his hopes alive of reaching the last four at the season-ending event.
Medvedev continued to appear agitated, giving frequent sarcastic thumbs-up gestures to his team, and the Russian went into full meltdown mode as Nadal incredibly broke again while holding serve to level the set at 5-5.
Nadal's win also strengthens his grip on the year-end No. 1 ranking, as it means Novak Djokovic has to win the tournament to have any chance of overtaking him.