• Tennis

Nadal to 'keep fighting' following surprise defeat

ESPN staff
April 26, 2014
Rafael Nadal will end April without a title for the first time since 2004 © Getty Images

World No.1 Rafael Nadal insists he will bounce back from his shock loss to Nicolas Almagro at the Barcelona Open on Friday.

The Spaniard saw a 41-match unbeaten streak across 11 years come to an end after suffering a 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4 defeat to his fellow countryman.

Eight-time champion Nadal will now end April without a title for the first time since 2004, but he vowed to recover as he prepares to defend his Madrid and Rome Masters crowns as well as the French Open in May.

"That's sport," Nadal said after the loss. "Obviously it's not the happiest day for me, but obviously I never thought I would win here 70 matches in a row. It was not my day. I felt I did a lot of things well to win the match, but at the end, [there] remained a little bit. Just accept the situation and keep fighting."

Nadal, who was beaten in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters last week, identified areas of his game that he needs to improve on.

"A little bit of rhythm, a little bit of intensity, playing a little bit more regular," he said. "To play well on clay, I need to be more stable with my game."

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