Fishing day for Rafael Nadal puts focus on Paris

Rafael Nadal suggested the intensity of a clay-court season had caused his defeat on Friday (May 19).
Rafael Nadal suggested the intensity of a clay-court season had caused his defeat on Friday (May 19).PHOTO: AFP

ROME • Rafael Nadal will focus on winning a 10th French Open title after a day of "fishing or golf", following his shock defeat to Dominic Thiem in the Italian Open quarter-finals on Friday (May 19).

Nadal had no answer to the eighth seed's aggressive approach and impressive range of shots as Thiem raced to a 6-4, 6-3 victory in 1hr 51min, ending the Spaniard's 17-match winning run on clay.

Nadal said he intends to have a free weekend before ramping up his preparations for Roland Garros from Monday.

"Tomorrow I'll be in Mallorca fishing or playing golf, or another thing. I'm going to rest a little bit, I think I deserve it," said the 30-year-old.

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"Then from Monday and Tuesday I will start to prepare for Roland Garros. It's an important event for me.

"If you do things well, you have more chances in Roland Garros. I hope to play my best tennis in Roland Garros."

Nadal also suggested the intensity of a clay-court season that has seen him play his best tennis on the surface for the past two years had caused his defeat.

"I've been playing a lot. It's difficult, every day. Madrid then Rome back-to-back, after Barcelona," he said.

"It's not easy playing every day for the last four weeks."

Thiem advanced to the semi-finals where he will be up against world No. 2 Novak Djokovic, whose quarter-final clash with Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro on Friday was suspended after rain halted play.

The Serb was leading 6-1, 1-2 and he completed the victory 6-1, 6-4 yesterday .

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 21, 2017, with the headline 'Fishing day for Nadal puts focus on Paris'. Print Edition | Subscribe