Nadal rubbishes retirement talk after upset loss

Rafael Nadal has rebuffed talk of him retiring anytime soon after his loss to Cameron Norrie at the United Cup.

Norrie notched his first win over Nadal in what was their fifth encounter, earning Great Britain its first win in the tournament over Spain.

Norrie lost the first set but bounced back to defeat the world No.2 player 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at the Ken Rosewell Arena in Sydney.

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Nadal had no answer for Norrie, though the question of retirement in the wake of the loss was quickly shut down.

“For me, I lost my match, that’s it,” said Nadal.

“Every time that I am coming to a press conference it seems that I have to retire.

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“So, you are very, very interested in my retirement. I mean, that’s, for the moment, not the case.

“When this day arrives, I’m gonna let you know guys. Don’t keep going with the retirement (questions) because I’m going to keep playing tennis.”

The groundbreaking win comes after Norrie beat Australia’s Alex de Minaur on day one of the multi-city tournament.

“That was pretty crazy,” Norrie told Jim Courier courtside.

“I was thinking, just as you said, I’d never won a set before so I wanted to come out and firstly do that and I had to stay super patient. 

“It was a super physical match. I really enjoyed it. It was huge to get through that one and finally beat him. 

“He’s beaten me easy the last few times. So a great way to end the year for me and end 2022. It was a crazy atmosphere. Thank you guys. It was amazing.”

Norrie had his team, Great Britain, on the sideline for the match.

He was also joined by friends in the stadium, who Norrie said may have enjoyed themselves too much.

“I had to match his energy,” Norrie said of Nadal.

“Especially this team event. I had the whole team behind me. Tim (Henman, team captain), he’s giving a lot of chat. 

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“I had a couple of friends in the crowd. Probably had a few too many beers here and there. They were loving it. They probably needed that. It was a pretty stressful match.

“I’ve had a really good off-season, played a lot of matches, and it’s been good for me. 

“I felt like I was finding really good depth on my shots and really dictating the play and wasn’t really letting him do too much damage with his forehand. 

“Tactically, I think it was a pretty good match and I served my way out of some trouble.”

Nadal’s next contest will see him join teammate Paula Badosa in mixed doubles against Harriet Dart and Daniel Evans of Great Britain on January 1.

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