Rafael Nadal needed three sets to emerge a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-3 second round winner will a win over Tobias Kamke of Germany at Doha on Wednesday.
But how he played was not the hot topic of his press conference. That honor went to the Australian Open.
British reporter Barry Flatman asked Rafael Nadal his thoughts on reports that the courts at the upcoming Australian Open are said to have been made very fast, Rafa came up with a highly unscripted response: “Shit!”
That’s right — it just flew right out of his mouth. (But since many have asked since this post first went up it should be said it was said by Rafa in good humor and with a laugh.)
Nadal first went with a bit of cheekiness: “How do you know that?” he inquired of Flatman. “You’ve been there?” Flatman responded by pointing to Australian colleague Leo Schlink, sitting to his left and saying that’s what he’s hearing from the Australians.
“Yeah? Very fast? Yeah? Shit,” were the immortal words of Rafa, that sent the journalists laughing. “I thought (Australian Open tournament director) Craig Tiley was a good friend.
“Okay. Doesn’t matter. I won tournaments on very quick surfaces, Montreal few times, and if I’m playing well, it’s not a big problem, playing on very quick surfaces. But it’s true that if it’s very, very quick, maybe it’s a problem.”
MURRAY NOT MANIC OVER LOSSES
Andy Murray played two matches on Wednesday at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and came out a loser on each visit to the court.
But Murray didn’t have high expectations for this return to tennis after back surgery on September 23rd of last year. He knew that all the practice in the world doesn’t make for real-time match scenarios.
In singles, Murray was ushered to the sidelines by Florian Mayer of Germany 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. And in doubles, Murray and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia fell to top seeds Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil 7-6 (5), 6-4.
“I didn’t have extremely high expectations, because I haven’t obviously played a match for a long time,” Murray said. “So like I say, you don’t know exactly how your body is going to respond.”
“I don’t feel great right now,” Murray added. “You know, just pretty stiff and sore just now, so that’s to be expected. Today was a good day for me. I lost two matches, but it’s good I got through without any sort of, picked up any injuries or niggles.”
Murray was enjoying a 6-3, 3-0 lead in the match when Mayer came alive to win 12 of the next 15 games of the match.
Apparently the German players favor playing at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open to start their season.
Six Germans were in the main draw when the tournament started on Monday: Sixth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, Tobias Kamke, qualifiers Dustin Brown, and Peter Gojowczyk, Florian Mayer and Daniel Brands.
Into Thursday’s quarterfinals and there’s five Germans remaining.
Florian Mayer posted the biggest upset of the tournament in shipping Andy Murray out of the singles in a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 second round win. Murray led the match 6-3, 3-0 on Wednesday, but thereafter only won three of 15 games remaining in the contest.
And give Brands a big hearty handshake for taking out second seed David Ferrer with a 6-4, 7-5 win.
Also remaining in the field are Brown, who defeated Ivo Karlovic 3-6, 7-6 (13) and Gojowczyk, who took out Kohlscreiber 7-6 (1), 7-6 (7).