A renowned tennis pundit has made a startling call about what really happened in the men’s final at the Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal was handed a humbling for the ages against Novak Djokovic, losing in just two hours and four minutes.
The final score was 6-3 6-2 6-3; the most one-sided Open final since 2003, and the first time in Nadal’s career that he’s lost a slam final in straight sets.
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The 17-time grand slam champion insisted he was fully fit in the final, despite recently coming back from knee surgery.
However tennis pundit Catherine Whitaker isn’t buying it.
Whitaker recently said Nadal must have been battling some sort of ailment against Djokovic, typified by the fact he wasn’t able to chase down balls he’d normally get to.
“There were shots that probably would have been a winner either way because they were brilliant from Djokovic,” she said on the Tennis Podcast.
“But he wasn’t even trying to run for them.
“I couldn’t see any evidence of any specific injury (but) I can’t believe there wasn’t something.
“His head was scrambled and his shot selection was bad. There were also occasions at the net.”
Co-host David Law agreed, saying he found it hard to believe that Nadal wasn’t injured.
“The last thing I expect us to be talking about was a sluggish Rafael Nadal,” he said.
“A few games in, most of us were thinking ‘is he fully fit?’ or ‘is there something wrong?’
“From his press conference there was no suggestion that there is (but) he looked slow by his standards.”
The loss was Nadal’s worst in 25 major finals – and his worst loss to Djokovic at a slam.
The Spaniard reflected on his injury run leading up to the tournament, even if those woes weren’t evident in his run to the final.
“It has been a very emotional two weeks,” he said.
“I have been going through tough moments during the last year … since the US Open, I was not able to play a professional match until the first round of the Australian Open.
“Even if tonight was not my night, for me it is so important to be where I am today.
“Coming back from injury I really believe … I played great two weeks of tennis. That’s going to be a good inspiration for myself for what’s coming.”