Wimbledon 2014: Rafael Nadal hasn’t forgotten shock early exits
Wimbledon 2014: Rafael Nadal admits his shock exits in 2012 and 2013 are still in his mind after reaching round two
Rafael Nadal admitted he has forgotten his shock early exits at Wimbledon in 2012 and 2013 after edging past Martin Klizan in four sets in the first round at SW19.
Two years ago, the Spaniard went out in the second round in a five-set thriller to an inspired Lukas Rosol, and last year an injury-troubled Nadal lost in straight sets to World No.135 (now 380) Steve Darcis.
So there was a slightly nervous atmosphere on Centre Court as Slovakian Klizan took the first set 6-4 against Nadal, but the Spaniard managed to recover to take the next three sets 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 – and banish any lingering demons – that is until he faces a certain Mr Rosol in the next round, at least.
“It was a positive match for me. First thing, because I won. That’s the most important thing,” Nadal said.
“I haven’t played much on grass for the last three years. So it’s always is like I’m restarting. So I’m happy for the victory.
“It was difficult. After the first set, it was even more difficult So I was able to fight. I was able to try to find some solutions, some changes.
“Today, [Klizan] was able to play aggressive. In the first match, the opponents try to play very aggressive. The court is a little bit more slippery, and in the beginning of the tournament, movement is a little bit more difficult.”
“I think I can do better than what I did today, but I knew I would not play at 100% after not playing on grass for a while.
“So you need to find the routines again. You need to find the confidence on some shots. The only way to find that things that comes automatic, the only way is play matches.”
Nadal also spoke very highly of his conqueror two years ago, Czech Rosol, ranked 52.
“He is a tough one, a very aggressive player. He beat me here, so he will be very confident,” he said.
“He can play very well on this surface and it will be a tough match again. I know I need to play very well and I’m going to fight for it.”