• Australian Open

Nadal: I would never retire hurt from a final

ESPN staff
January 26, 2014
Rafael Nadal received extensive treatment on a lower back injury © AP

Rafael Nadal has said that there was no way he was going to let his back injury make him withdraw injured from the Australian Open final.

Nadal lost in four sets to Stanislas Wawrinka in the final in Melbourne, as the Swiss player claimed his first ever grand slam title.

However, it looked for a prolonged period in the second set as though Nadal would not make it any further having taken a medical timeout and received continued treatment on a lower back problem.

The Spaniard battled through the pain and even won the third set, before Wawrinka completed a 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 success.

"The last thing that I wanted to do was retire. No, I hate to do that, especially in a final," said Nadal. "At the same time, it's tough to see yourself during the whole year, working for a moment like this, and the moment arrives and you feel that you are not able to play at your best.

"Since the beginning I felt it a little bit, from the warm-up. At the end of the first set, I started to feel worse.

"Then at the beginning of the second was the key moment that I felt, during a serve in a bad movement, it was very stiff, very bad."

Nadal admitted he was so lost in the moment, he did not even know what the physio said to him about the injury. "You can ask the physio, because in that moment I was too worried to think about what happened," he said.

"The physio tried to relax a little bit the back. When that happens during a match it's almost impossible. I tried hard."

Nadal was keen to stress that Wawrinka's exceptional play, and not the back pain, had been too much for him on the day.

"It's Stan's day, not my day," he said. "He was playing amazing. It's very tough to stop him when he's playing that way.

"So I just congratulate him because he's playing better and better and he's playing with amazing confidence, hitting every ball very, very hard, moving great."

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