Nadal not ready to say goodbye despite thrashing

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2011, 09:22 AM IST

London: An hour after one of the worst beatings of his career Rafa Nadal refused to be too downhearted on Tuesday and said he was still in contention at the ATP World Tour Finals.

The Spaniard was thrashed 6-3, 6-0 by great rival Roger Federer in exactly an hour and now faces a do-or-die tussle with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of a tournament he has never won.

"I have to accept it, congratulate him because he played really well," Nadal, who had won 17 of their previous 25 encounters but was comprehensively outplayed on this occasion, told reporters.

"It`s not the moment to say goodbye. It`s not the moment to go down. It`s the moment to keep fighting. I`m still in the tournament. I still have the chance to be in the semi-finals because if I win the next match I will be in semi-finals.”

"So it`s the moment to keep fighting with a positive attitude and it`s the moment to accept when Roger plays like this he is better than me, and that`s it."

Nadal stayed with Federer for five games but once he lost the best point of the match to go down 4-2 in the first set he was blown off court by the Swiss maestro who had never had it so easy against his Mallorcan nemesis.

"I tried my best. I try my best always, no?" added Nadal, who has not won a title since claiming the French Open for a sixth time in June. "But today I didn`t play bad first set.

"It`s funny, but I didn`t play really bad. He didn`t have one mistake during all the match or two mistakes during all the match. He was playing too aggressive. I tried my best. But it seems it wasn`t enough tonight."

Curiously Nadal, who had not played a match since Shanghai in October before his win over Mardy Fish on Sunday, said he had been 100 percent fit against Federer, before suggesting a shoulder problem had stopped him practising on Monday.

"I had to work a lot yesterday on the recovery on the shoulder. Seriously yesterday I didn`t know if I was going to be ready to play today," he said.

"It didn`t affect my match today because I felt perfect today. At the same time, for me it`s a positive day today because I played without problems and I can still play and continue in the tournament and I can still have chance."

Bureau Report