Nadal ‘miffed’ over ‘closed roof’ in loss

World No.1 Rafael Nadal, who lost a five-set thriller in Saturday’s Wimbledon singles semi-final against Noval Djokovic, said he was unhappy with organisers’ decision to keep the Centre Court roof closed throughout the two-day match.

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In a match, which started after 20h00 on Friday night with the Centre Court roof already shut, that had to be carried over to be completed on Saturday with Djokovic leading by two sets to one.

The Serb went on to eventually win 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9), 3-6, 10-8 in what has been described as “tropical conditions” to setup a meeting with South African Kevin Anderson, in Sunday’s final.

When asked about the decision to play the semi-final against Djokovic on Saturday with a closed roof, Nadal said: “No. I will not talk more about this. If [I do], you are going to write about this, and I don’t want you to write about this today.”

Djokovic debunked speculation that he asked to play with the roof closed, by saying: “The tournament organisers and referees said that the roof has to be closed because we started the match with the roof closed. They told us we had to play under the roof.

“There was a dialogue. Did I express a preference? No. I was for the roof because we started to play, and I wanted to play in the same conditions.

“I didn’t ask them. I just expressed my opinion because they asked me for my opinion. But as I understood, they already made a decision.”

Nadal said afterwards he was of the opinion that it was a match both deserved to win and his opponent agreed.

“He’s probably the greatest fighter ever to play this game,” Djokovic said of Nadal. “I mean, he battles every single point like it’s his last. That’s something that is so impressive with Rafa. That’s what makes him so difficult to beat on any surface.

“You come into the match against him, knowing that you have to earn your points, it is already an energy-spending moment. So you have to be ready for it, obviously.

“That’s why you put in X amount of hours on the practice court, preparation, trying to be as professional as you can, because you need to compete with a guy like Nadal. He does the same.”

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