• Australian Open

Nadal left fuming by time violations

ESPN staff
January 20, 2014
Nadal through

Rafael Nadal used his post-match press conference to vent his frustrations at receiving multiple time violations in his Australian Open fourth-round victory over Kei Nishikori.

The world No. 1, struggling with a nasty blister on his racquet hand, was made to work for his win, eventually coming through 7-6(3) 7-5 7-6(3) in a match that lasted three hours and 17 minutes in the Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal's usual ice-cool persona was tested by a series of time violations by chair umpire Eva Asderaki - and the Spaniard was particularly unhappy at the timing of the second, which came at 4-4, deuce in the third set.

It meant he forfeited his first serve and Nishikori went on to break.

"I accept that sometimes I was slow and I respect that," Nadal said. "I don't want to change any rule. The negative thing in my opinion is not the warning. The negative thing is the moment: 4-4, deuce. You can choose another moment to do it, not that one.

"We need referees who understand the game. The rules cannot go against the good show. If you are playing with 40 degrees, you cannot expect to have 20 or 25 seconds recovery.

"If you are playing crazy rallies, you cannot have 25 seconds [to] recover because then you will not have more rallies because the players cannot have it. So that goes against the fans, against the show.

"But I repeat: [I have] nothing against the rules. I accept the rules. Sometimes I am wrong. Sometimes I am too slow and I accept that. I respect the decision of the referee even if I am not happy for that.

"I will try to go quicker in the future. But it is important to have people on the chair that really understand the game and people who manage this sport who understand the game."

Nadal will face Grigor Dimitrov in Wednesday's quarter-final.

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