Rafael Nadal got into the semifinals of the Australian Open on Tuesday after surviving the push of the Canadian Denis Shapovalov and stomach problems that threw his great start to the game on the ground. The Spaniard, who is playing his first Grand Slam after having been unemployed for five months due to a foot injury and a Covid-19 infection, epically saved the classification in the fifth and last set to get into the next round of the oceanic tournament (6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6 and 6-4).
At the end of the match, the Spaniard was happy for the pass, for the seventh time in his career, for the semifinals of the Australian Open. He even described the result as a “miracle”: “I don’t know how I won. I was lucky at the beginning of the fifth set.
Shapovalov is very talented, he serves very well, especially with the second serve.” “It’s incredible to be in the semifinals and it’s a gift of life because two months ago I didn’t know if I was going to play again,” he added.
Nadal confessed that he began “to feel tired and feel bad at the end of the second set. I didn’t feel well in my stomach during the match and they took my blood pressure, vital signs and everything was fine in my body. I feel good physically at the mobility level, but the conditions were tougher than the last two weeks. Every game he won was like a victory. It has been an exercise in survival and resistance. The game seemed impossible to win. I had a full blown heat stroke and the pit of my stomach closed when I moved. I took advantage of my opportunity to the rest and the serve has worked for me ».
During the match, Nadal had a run-in with his rival, who complained about the time the Spaniard took between points and sets: «I respect him but there have to be certain limits. You not only play against him, you also compete against the referee judge. It’s very hard and frustrating to overcome all this.
“I was wrong to say that they are corrupt, but I stick with my version. It’s unfair to see how many times Rafa gets away with this. Of course I say something to the judge because I’m ready to serve and the clock is nearing the end.”
The Canadian considered the situation unfair, explaining that in the previous edition of the tournament he could not go to the bathroom during the same break in which he had been treated by the doctor: «Of course he gets preferential treatment, he takes a long time between points and setsThat’s why we take so long. How can you get medical attention and go to the bathroom in the same break?
“I follow the rules”
An anger for which Nadal had an answer, emphasizing that at all times he complied with the rules of the tournament. “I knew that I took a little more time at the end of the first set. Normally they give you a little more time and I took 30 seconds more. I think I needed it and the referee acted correctly. I abide by the rules. I think he was wrong to protest. You will understand that I need to change. There is a new rule, which is the ‘toilet break’. And I follow the rules.”
«I don’t think I have preferential treatment because on the track I don’t deserve it and I don’t have it. There are no advantages for the big players. It is not true because now there is the clock. I guess it’s hard for him to accept defeat and he’s frustrated. He’s young and we all make mistakes. You will understand in time that you have been wrong about this. I am not going to enter into any controversy with him, ”explained the Manacor tennis player.
«The rules on the track are the same for everyone. There is a supervisor and a chair umpire who enforce the rules. They sing the minutes to me every time I go to the bathroom. He was wrong and I do not take it into account because I know he is a good boy», settled the controversy.