If losing from two sets up for only the third time in his career wasn’t bad enough, Rafael Nadal had to make a hasty exit from his post-match press conference to avoid becoming a meme.
Nadal was defeated in an absorbing five-set encounter with Stefanos Tsitsipas as the Greek star took his place in the semi-final against Daniil Medvedev.
And the exertion required clearly took its toll on the 20-time Grand Slam winner, as he showed in his post-match press conference.
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Nadal was suffering from cramp and had in mind a famous moment from the US Open in 2011, when he also cramped up and almost disappeared from view under the press conference table in considerable pain.
“It has been shown that I was not well prepared, that's what happened. This is the reality. It has been shown that physically I have lacked a little more preparation," Nadal said, before his leg started to seize up.
The Spanish great was determined not to become the butt of jokes again – so made a hasty exit this time.
However, he later returned to explain: “After so many jokes that there were in New York I decided to go out the door so that there were no more jokes.”
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Highlights: Nadal beats Popyrin to reach Madrid quarters