Nadal: Grass is my toughest surface

by: Matt Cronin June 24, 2013

AP Photo

After Steve Darcis stunned him in the first round of Wimbledon, two-time champion Rafael Nadal refuses to blame the loss on a knee injury even though he appeared a bit hobbled in the third set.  It was Nadal's first-ever first-round defeat in 35 Grand Slam events.

The Spaniard, who won his eighth Roland Garros title two weeks ago but then pulled out of grass-court warm up tournament in Halle, admitted that playing on grass presented a special challenge.

"It’s probably the toughest surface for me today, because I had to move and I have to play in a lower position than in the rest of the surfaces," Nadal said.  "So that's the real thing."

Nadal, who won seven of the nine tournaments he played prior to Wimbledon, said there is no reason to rethink the scheduling choices.

"I played when I had the feeling that I can play,” he said. "And my feelings were that I played the weeks that I felt right to play. I try to arrive as good as possible to this tournament, knowing that probably this year will be harder than ever, and it really was."

While Nadal would not commit to which U.S. Open Series warm-up tournaments he will play this summer he did say in Spanish that he has every intention of competing at the U.S. Open in August and believes he can play well there.

Nadal credited Darcis for outplaying him and admitted that losing in the first round was tough.

"The tour continues, life continues, and this is a sport of victories,” he said. "It's not a sport of [losses].  Nobody remember the [losses].  People remember the victories. And I don't want to remember [this loss].”

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