World No.1 Rafael Nadal hits back at a journalist for insinuating that the Spaniard has lost concentration on the tennis court after his wedding with long-time girlfriend Xisca Perello last month.
Rafael Nadal’s campaign to win a maiden title at the ATP World Tour Finals 2019 got off to a worst possible start as he was demolished by defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-4 in his opening round-robin match of the Andre Agassi group.
The match was Nadal’s first since pulling out of the Rolex Paris Masters 2019 semi-finals with an abdominal injury, which came just a few days after he tied the knot with long-time girlfriend Xisca Perello in Mallorca.
The seventh seed Alexander Zverev started the match dominantly, breaking Nadal twice to win the first set. He then broke in the first game of the second set to take control of the match. The 22-year-old looked too strong for Rafael Nadal. The German did not concede a single breakpoint in the entire match.
The poor play led the Italian journalist Ubaldo Scanagatta to ask Nadal in the post-match press conference if getting married to childhood girlfriend Xisca Perello mid-season has affected his concentration lately.
“Honestly, are you asking me this? Is it a serious question or is it a joke? Is it serious?” Nadal seethed.
“Okay. I surprise, it is a big surprise for me (that) you ask me this after I have been with the same girl for 15 years and having a very stable and normal life. Doesn’t matter if you put a ring on your finger or not. In my personal way, I am a very normal guy,” Nadal further added.
Maybe for you were – how many years have you been with your (partner)?” The Mallorcan questioned the journalist.
The journalist then explained how he had been married for 30 years before the 33-year-old hit back: “And before? Ah, maybe before you were not sure. That’s why (smiling). Okay.”
The 19-time Grand Slam winner took serious offense and refused to answer any more questions in English – “Okay. We move to Spanish because that’s bullish*t. Thank you very much.”
Nadal is locked in a battle with Novak Djokovic for the year-end No.1 and will have to win every match to get his chances against the Serbian, who started off with the 2019 ATP Finals with a straight-sets victory over Matteo Berrettini.