Rafael Nadal: "I Have Never Had A Spirit Of Revenge"

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Rafael Nadal revealed he was not happy about his shock first round exit at the Australian Open to compatriot Fernando Verdasco.

“I did not like the loss in Australia,” said Nadal. “From Beijing to Doha I got very good results on complicated courts for me, and in Australia I had a bad day. I can't do anything other than look forward and work with enthusiasm like I have been doing in the recent months.”

“Every year is different; there are no two same years. I am motivated daily, and my motivation is maximum. I am convinced of the fact that I will have a good year. I do not know how close or far away I am from fighting for the no. 1 or no. 2 (in the rankings).”

Nadal shakes hands with Verdasco after their first round encounter / Michael Dodge, Getty Images
Nadal shakes hands with Verdasco after their first round encounter / Michael Dodge, Getty Images

Nadal also revealed his early loss in Australia helped him make the decision to take a wildcard to the Argentina Open ATP 250 tournament in Buenos Aires, where he will make his debut on Thursday.

“I decided quickly (to come to Argentina). I lost early in Australia and I did not want to not compete for much time. I am very grateful to Buenos Aires and Argentina in general, when I was here they welcomed me like an Argentinian and they gave me positive energy. All this brought me to be here.”

Well wishes for rivals

As someone who has been plagued by more than his fair share of injuries throughout his career, particularly those of the knees, it was not surprising that Nadal felt sympathy for long-time rival and friend Roger Federer who recently had arthroscopic knee surgery.

“I feel sorry for him, but (the injury) is neither very long nor complicated, and after a good start to the year he can afford to rest for a month. I wish that everything goes very well for him and that he recovers soon.”

Nadal and Federer after their most recent meeting in Basel / Harold Cunningham, Getty Images

The Spaniard also mentioned the comeback of Juan Martin del Potro. “He will come back well if he's doing well physically. He doesn't lack talent, nor does he lack motivation and enthusiasm. His comeback is good news for Argentinian tennis and for tennis in general.”

Olympics not a chance for revenge

Nadal has said many times throughout his career that playing rivals he has recently lost to does not cause him to want revenge, and it seems to be a similar case with missing out on defending his 2008 singles gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“I have never had a spirit of revenge. I think the spirit of revenge is something negative. That had been the toughest withdrawal because you have fewer chances to play Olympics. I have played it only once. In 2012, I had a chance to be the flag bearer. To stay in the Olympic village with other athletes is priceless, it's a unique and unforgettable experience.”

Nadal stands on the Olympic podium after winning a gold singles medal in 2008 / Clive Brunskill, Getty Images

As Nadal prepares to play his first match in Buenos Aires, he will be looking to have a fresh start to the season and put in a solid effort to win the title on Argentina soil. He will begin the tournament by playing either Juan Monaco or Marco Cecchinato.